Is it really that difficult to delight and retain customers?
It must be, because the road is littered with companies that lose repeat business from breakdowns in the end-to-end Customer Experience. Preventable breakdowns that derail the lifetime value of the customer relationship.
A recent McKinsey study found revenues grew 10-15% for companies with a 20% customer satisfaction increase. The customer satisfaction increase was attributed to companies that focused on end-to-end customer journeys rather than individual touch points and interactions.
Customer (or Consumer) Experience is a differentiator. And business leaders will either build or kill their business based on how they approach it. It’s not just better customer service or an improved user experience – it’s a customer-centric dedication to engagement, retention, recommendation and recurrent revenue regardless of industry or company size.
In two blog posts, I’ll share ideas about the lifeblood to retention – the process and plan to increase your customer ROI.
Keep ‘em or churn ‘em?
Whether you want customers to return through paywalls or doors, prioritize a proactive customer experience plan before negative customer triggers — customer service incidents, product issues, competitive pressure — eats profits from your business.
You can instead make a difference with customers and create separation from competitors by focusing on a process to delight customers (reminder: the people who pay salaries and bills) at touch points throughout the relationship, both digital and human.
A committed Customer Experience Plan creates positive and predictable revenue opportunities in the lifetime relationship.
Smart process > higher customer ROI
- Conduct a Brand Check. Is your business marketing working, functioning or non-existent? It has to be strategic and viable: differentiating your product benefits, profiling and prioritizing buyers, and facilitating acquisition and retention.
- I.D. & Assess Touch Points. Map out your organization’s customer journey – digital and personal. Identify the cracks (people and processes) that hinder customer experience – and target those for improvement.
- Your Customers: Listen! Through surveys, focus groups, customer service, social monitoring, be aware of what your community says about the expected quality of the company-customer relationship.
- Quantify & Qualify. Interpret your data, and compare this with voice of customer insights. A UX Research Plan developed for companies’ digital experiences (website, apps, e-commerce) can be expanded for feedback on performance of customer-facing positions.
- Innovate to Improve. Enlist both leaders and front line employees to adjust behaviors for customer success, with a goal to get customers to acknowledge the improvement.
- Be Exceptional. Roll out your customer plan aggressively to employees so they understand the change they can affect, and are ready to work toward best possible customer outcomes.
- Evangelize. Your stakeholders need to know about your customer-centric culture evolution. Have them take ownership and expand your army of change agents.
Keep it simple to increase customer experience ROI — make it easier for your customers to do business with you! Be customer-centric and proactive at every point … before it costs you. Maximize your customers’ value to avoid sole dependency on customer acquisition and churn.
Next post covers putting the process in play (Be Human!) to build retention and loyalty ROI.