The mantra at all organizations today is to be ‘customer-centric’, and most are getting better at it. However, they do miss out on building deeper, longer and more meaningful relationships, as they provide the same experiences as everyone else. It is therefore important to cross the barrier to the next step – ‘customer obsession’.
Customer obsession is currently in danger of becoming a buzzword. While a business may think and care about its customers, it needs to delve deeper to be called customer-obsessed. We are in ‘The Age of the Customer’- where buyers have heightened access to product information and greater expectations on what a product should deliver. They have multiple avenues to make buying decisions such as independent research, conversations with friends, online review sites etc. While buying behavior was previously considered predictable and linear, these factors make customer buying patterns now appear “random”. But truly customer-obsessed businesses know that is not the case. Organizations need to be better prepared to be able to ‘WOW’ their customers and this can only happen if they focus on building a customer-obsessed culture.
So, what do customer-obsessed companies do, not just in certain departments, but across the entire organization? Here are the 6 things we identified:
Incorporate customer obsession in company values
Organizations should learn to include customer focus in their mission statement, and take actions consistently to make this a habit. Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon, regularly leaves a chair empty in meeting rooms to represent the customer. This serves as a constant reinforcement for employees to remember who the most important person in the room is.
Customer satisfaction above all
Businesses should identify customer satisfaction as one of their key metrics, so that employees can be motivated to put customers first. At All-Hands Meetings, CSAT scores should be announced before revenues, and customer feedback should be shared with everyone. This makes every employee aware of the tangible customer experiences they are helping create, and the monetary impact associated with it. Therefore, a sense of responsibility is created across the organization where every employee believes in the power of experiences.
Define what customer obsession means to every employee
Within each organization, customer obsession can mean different things across different functions. While the CSAT team may interpret customer obsession one way, the sales, marketing, delivery and other teams may interpret it some other way. Organizations should standardize and clearly define what customer obsession means to each of these functions to create customer-focused employees. An awareness of the correlation between obsession and revenues should be clearly defined too.
Reward employees who deliver outstanding CX
Instead of putting the onus on leadership for creating memorable customer experiences, businesses should learn to make customer obsession an organizational initiative. It is important to reward employees who go above and beyond with their customer commitment. Organizations like American Express even give employees financial bonuses based on customer feedback.
Measure churn rate and customer lifetime value
It shouldn’t be surprising, but customer satisfaction reflects in company revenues. A happy customer will interact with your brand repetitively without looking at your competitors. Their positive opinions about your brand will affect metrics like repeated transactions, customer lifetime value and churn rate. Organizations should share these numbers with employees to motivate them to increase sales numbers. Make this an internal challenge or goal for everyone to chase and watch your employees move the needle!
Employ technology platforms to manage and interpret data
Customer-obsessed companies know that data is the fuel that drives unique customer experiences. But all companies have data. How you manage, enrich and govern this data is the differentiator. Data mostly exists in silos across functions, and it’s important to break those silos to get a 360° customer profile. A technology platform that enables organizations to extract data from silos and interpret it to provide deeper insights is crucial on your journey towards customer-obsession.
So, how can OSG help your organization move towards customer-centricity?
o360 OSG is an important tool on your customer-obsession voyage. Powered by Dynamo, our AI-based big data platform that can collate, manage and interpret customer data, o360 helps you understand what behavioral triggers can help customers stay motivated and engaged with your products. It can measure customer expectations and feedback to design personalized experiences that ensure your customers stay loyal and engaged, thereby reducing churn and increasing customer retention. With Illuminate, you can even design loyalty programs that guarantee engaged customers and generate increased revenue.
We hope this information has been interesting and valuable to you. Please, feel free to share it with colleagues and other people in your network. We welcome discussing this topic further with you and understanding your specific challenges.