The Engaged Customer, the Profitable Business
Prepared by: Adrianne Johnston
Engaging with your customers is arguably the most important strategy in business; however, few businesses have transitioned to a customer centric business approach. In the ideal world, the customer centric business approach starts with the customers, reworks the business processes and aims to deliver excellent services through the eyes of the customer. The objective of the approach is to provide customers the information/services/products that they want, at the time they want and at a profitable price that the customer is willing to pay.
Being customer centric begins with the business. Research has shown that the employee, customer and shareholder satisfaction are connected. When the employee is happy in their position, the customer receives a higher level of service and the shareholders see an increase in their profits. However, many senior managers prefer to make decisions behind closed doors instead of taking suggestions and constructive criticisms from lower level staff, ignore potential contributions of employees and the complaints of customers. All of this leads to an overall decrease in profits.
Achieving a customer centric business can be done with a few steps:
1. Identify your most valuable customers. Research has shown that 25% of business top customers will create 89% of the company’s revenue. While the next 25% will produce 7% of the company’s revenue. Focus your resources on providing excellent customer service to the 50% of customers that will create 96% of your revenue.
2. Talk to your valuable customers. Talking with your valuable customers will provide you with an understanding of what makes your company great and the areas of improvement required.
3. Build a clear, objective customer journey map. The customer journey map outlines how your customers engage with your company from the time they research your product/services, to buying your products and services, to the after sale interaction with your staff. Questions to ask while building your map: How much information about our products and services is easily available to our clients? What is the experience of the client when they walk through our doors? Are there particular innovations that our customers would like to see offer? Each phase of the customer interaction is reviewed from the point of view of the customer experience.
4. Develop an understanding of your company’s strategic value for customers. Contributing to the business success is an expectation of team members. Have regular discussions with your team about any insights that they may have on how to exceed customers expectations, industry trends and business opportunities.
5. Build a shared vision. The strategic plan needs to be understood by all and reiterated to employees daily. Having the company’s direction in mind is key to developing a customer centric business approach that will allow team members to exceed customer expectations in the present and into the future.
Cruse, K. (2017). 5 Steps to building a customer centric business model. Retrieved fromhttp://www.strategex.com/expert-insights-archive/2017/7/26/customer-cent....
Heller, R. (2010). Customer strategy and the art of listening. Retrieved from http://www.management-issues.com/opinion/6068/customer-strategy-and-the-....
Roll, M. (2015). Building a customer centric mindset. Retrieved from https://knowledge.insead.edu/blog/insead-blog/building-a-customer-centri...