Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Is It So Important To Have Customer Experience Today?

If you are one of those asking this question, just for a heads-up, we have entered “the customers’ era” - an age where the focus is all on customers, instead of other strategic imperatives. The perception of customers has an intense impact on the metrics of a business ranging from customer loyalty and brand equities to cost saving and increased revenues. This is a reality most companies are waking up to today. However, even though executives know that customers make a lot of difference they still don’t have a disciplined approach towards customer interactions. For a business to be successful, the business owners must have a serious approach towards defining, implementing and managing their customer experience.

A Customer-Centric Approach

Having a customer-centric approach is truly your best chance at having a sustainable and competitive advantage. Over the decades, companies keep making promises to customers, without really living up to their expectations in almost all channels. That is a tactic that doesn’t work anymore. Wondering why not? Well, because we are now living in an era where the success of any business imperatively depends on customers, rather than only marketing strategies.

Effects of the Customers’ Era on Businesses

Transforming goods and services into commodities has taken “differentiation” out of the picture.

Traditional boundaries of industries have been dissolved, taking the competitive market to a different dimension.

Customer opinions define the success of a business today. So, if a business gets good responses, it is sure to be a success. On the contrary, if the responses are negative, customers wouldn’t think twice before shunning the brand altogether.

Customer Experience Defines the True Value of a Business

A business executive cannot decide the customer-centricity of his/her company – it is the call of the customers in this case since they are the decisive arbiters. Whether a company is B2B, B2C or a product and service oriented, it can still influence positive customer experiences by:

Bolstering brand equities – by using the best techniques and devices to brand the company.

Acquiring the loyalty of its customers – By building a strong relationship with the customers by ensuring consistent and satisfying services.

Boosting revenues – By adopting the right business methodologies to translate customer loyalty into revenue increments periodically.

Reducing Costs – By driving down its costs to enhance customer support connections.

Customer experience is a discipline with complete tools, practices and methodologies that companies must routinely perform in order to manage customer experience. To have a methodical focus on customers, it is important that customer experience specialists work with C-level executives in order to:

Dedicate employees to customer experience – Customer experience projects don’t usually take off successfully if they are pinned to day jobs.

Allocate budgets to customer experience projects – Doubling down customer experience investments to delight customers is a promising way of ensuring successful initiatives.

Craft customer experience strategies – Having a precise customer experience strategy helps make the organization focus on spreading or distributing the right type of customer interaction strategies.

And finally, focusing on generating a great customer experience builds loyalty and positive word of mouth, which in turn build profitability.  And is there any better reason than that?
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