Customer loyalty will only happen if you listen with empathy and then act on what you find.
Companies today need to find new ways to digitally attract customers, make the entire buying cycle more convenient for the online purchaser, and provide proactive post-sales service. These new imperatives have driven numerous organisations to completely redefine their value proposition to customers. We have also seen how important it is to seek customer feedback regularly to keep track of their evolving needs, and to maintain an ongoing reading of their needs and preferences.
We no longer live in an era where just gathering basic customer data is sufficient. Businesses must deeply understand and deliver what customers love, and they can only do that by truly embracing the customer’s perspective, which we refer to as the customer’s “truth.” It’s all about deeply understanding the context of your customers, and how each step in their journey with your organisation is linked and not a separate one-time event. Capturing your customers’ complete truth is essential if you expect to be fully informed by whatever insights they give you.
Getting to your customer’s truth has three key interrelated components – listening carefully, empathising with whatever you hear, and being committed to taking action based on what you are told. You need to make each of those central to your company’s culture and operational structure if you are serious about sustaining strong customer loyalty.
The customer experience (CX) should be a catalyst to drive cross-functional alignment and collaboration, with every leader understanding how all functions in the company contribute to the customer experience. As part of this, customer insights must be shared and actioned organisation-wide.
A successful CX strategy requires both careful consideration for your customers and their journey, as well as prioritising the deep data-centric insights which help to uncover broader customer sentiment. This approach of combining both the customer voice with customer insight is what we call Total Experience Management (TXM). It allows you to see a complete truth and realise the value of putting truth into action to deliver extraordinary brand, employee, product and customer experiences.
TXM brings together all business functions that impact the customer journey and places each customer touchpoint in the context of a complete customer journey. Everyone in the organisation is working toward a common goal of customer satisfaction. CX leaders have visibility across the full journey to draw insights, prioritise and shift budgets and create innovative solutions that cut across department lines. And, most importantly, your CX strategy needs to inform the actions required to drive the right outcomes for your company and for your customers. To ensure that happens consistently, a holistic and agile program – based on responsiveness, relevance and underpinned by performance being measured – needs to be put in place. I refer to this as a “closed-loop TXM.”
Technology has played a critical role in effective CX and has shaped how people interact with brands today. While smartphones and social media have all helped create new gateways for companies to connect with their customers over the past decade, technology is also essential for what you do with the information those connections provide. Customer-centric companies harness the power of combining CX and data analytics to seek real-time customer feedback from all sources— structured and unstructured — and combine these sources to create meaningful customer profiles. It’s a compelling vision to realise. But it will only happen if you are willing to make a full, carefully considered and top-priority commitment to CX.
For more information on how to uncover your customers’ truth and put it into action click here
by Ross Wainwright, CEO, Alida