Archive for the ‘Customer Satisfaction’ Category
More and more companies nowadays are recognizing the importance of managing the customer experience and, increasingly, the voice of the customer is being led at boardroom level and integrated with company strategy.
The latest white paper from B2B International, Managing The Experience Of Your Customers, goes straight to the heart of the matter, looking at the reasons for this shift toward increased Customer Experience Management (CEM), as well as frameworks for typical CEM approaches – particularly those relating to the B2B arena.
If you are among the savvy companies which are delving further into the customer experience and placing it at the heart of all they do, this white paper is essential reading!
Click here to view Managing The Experience Of Your Customers.
In this week’s Business Surgery, Julia Cupman highlights that customers in loyalty programs are not necessarily loyal. Although it is relatively easy to reward the advocates of a brand, the big challenge comes with addressing the detractors, especially before they can cause damage.
On a flight to Chicago last week, a colleague moaned to me, asking “Why do we always have to fly United?” Of course, there are lots of other airlines that will get us to Chicago and back, but United has certainly locked me in with its loyalty program, in that I’ll take almost any opportunity to add miles to my MileagePlus account.
While this might seem a contradiction, customers in loyalty programs are not necessarily loyal. True loyalty should reflect only customers who are strong advocates of a brand, which is certainly not the case for all loyalty card holders. In spite of my frequent flying with United and apparent loyalty to the airline, many of my colleagues and family know only too well about my negative views on United, especially during its merger with Continental. I – like millions of other customers – won’t forget the negative experiences for some time yet, irrespective of United having improved its customer service in the past few months.
When a company grows so large that customers are mere numbers in a database, it’s possible to lose sight of the importance each customer plays. Indeed, United flies over 140 million scheduled passengers a year, so why bother about a particular disgruntled customer?
Companies are, however, increasingly receiving a harsh wake-up call as the web has made it easy for negative word of mouth to spread like wildfire. Every day, 400 million Tweets, 534 million Facebook updates and 2 million blog posts are generated worldwide. This gives a dissatisfied customer every opportunity to communicate a negative experience to the masses – and frighteningly quickly.
Back in 2009, Canadian musician Dave Carroll trusted his $3,500 guitar with United baggage handlers, only to arrive in Chicago to find the instrument of his career smashed into smithereens. Furious at United’s denial of responsibility, Carroll created a song about his experience, singing that he “alerted three employees who showed complete indifference”. The song was uploaded onto the internet, received one million hits in just four days, and has been viewed more than 12 million times to date. Clearly the impact of one seemingly small negative customer experience should not be underestimated.
While companies must continue to acknowledge and reward the customers who are truly loyal, they should also make every effort to address the detractors out there who are spreading negative word of mouth. Interestingly, and as proven in market research, successful problem resolution is one of the biggest drivers of overall satisfaction and loyalty, but disgruntled customers require speedy treatment in order to prevent their dissatisfaction from going viral.
To learn about B2B International’s real time promoter and detractor alert service (a part of our customer satisfaction and loyalty research offering), please call to speak to one of our customer loyalty experts.
A recent shift from focusing attention on customer service and satisfying customers through to a more encompassing management of ‘Customer Experience’ is definitely a wise decision. However, it is important to understand 3 key areas that will impact on whether your organisation delivers a true ‘customer experience’. Firstly, you need to know what the expectation of the customer is; then you need to manage the experience and thirdly you need to understand what will be remembered.
Of course, expectations set the bar height in terms of anticipation about the experience somebody is going to have and so cannot be ignored. However, it has previously been assumed that the memory of the experience is the same as the actual experience but research from Daniel Kahneman has shown that they can be very different and small changes to the experience can have a lasting impact on the memory of the experience. Therefore customers’ expectations, experiences and memory of their experience need to be understood, controlled and managed through to deliver loyal customers in the future.
For more information please visit http://www.deepseeresearch.com/white-paper-make-it-memorable-but-for-the-right-reasons/
To understand more about what B2B International can offer around Customer Experience Management visit http://www.b2binternational.com/research-and-intelligence/customer-loyalty/ or contact one of our international offices http://www.b2binternational.com/contact-b2b/
B2B International has done for itself what it does for others – conducted market research to ask clients and prospective clients what marketing concerns/interests they have and what challenges they expect their business to face in the year ahead. The response is an overview of the prevailing mood in Europe and America and a snapshot of business people’s views of the marketplace.
The research surveyed 270 business professionals from large organisations, most of which appear in the Forbes Global 2000; a third in North America in December and the remainder in Europe in January, and confirms that brand is definitely the essence of a company. Key challenges are developing brand identity, and communicating to existing and potential customers with a compelling customer value proposition supported by a strong brand.
Gaining a competitive advantage (63% Europe; 49% US), and retaining customers and extracting maximum value out of them (58% Europe; 47% US) are the two main requirements for companies – on both sides of the Atlantic – to address over the coming year.
Asked if they could wave a magic wand that would solve any challenges their organisation currently faces, most respondents want to better understand their customers and their markets. Many also voice frustrations with internal factors – including investment, communications, CRM systems and inefficiencies with other internal processes, while a significant number are seeking ways to develop their business and brand by identifying solutions around four key questions: who (target customers), where (optimum markets), what (improved and differentiated products/services), and how (fastest and most effective route to market).
Businesses constantly look to grow, even in today’s harsh economic environment, and do this through product development, entering new markets, expanding in existing markets or moving ahead of the competition. Given this fact, it was interesting to note that the three main types of market research considered by companies are: market assessment, needs analysis & segmentation, and customer satisfaction.
Over £1,200 was raised for worthy causes through this online survey, with B2B International making a donation to charity for each completed questionnaire.
In a special Business Surgery, Carol-Ann Morgan discusses why Greg Smiths letter published in the New York Times (“Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs” – NY Times – 14.3.12 ) should serve as a warning shot across the boughs for any company which considers its customers or clients only in revenue generation terms.
A simple fact that is easy to forget amid the pressures of business success; but forget this at your peril.
Some key facts which provide ample justification for a customer centric business approach:
Customer centricity tends to fall in and out of fashion, but it is now most definitely “in”. Customer Experience Management is, in fact, the new buzz phrase. Savvy companies are delving further into the customer experience; placing it at the heart of all they do. With this there has been a flourish of tools, techniques, processes and people who are there to offer their services.
Bernd Schmitt’s book “Customer Experience Management: A Revolutionary Approach to Connecting with your Customers” makes a very interesting read indeed, from the perspective of a professional and as a customer myself. The stages he takes you through cause you to examine your own customer experiences from the on-going relationships, eg with banks and utility companies to the regular, occasional or “one off” retail experiences with the likes of Tesco, John Lewis and Hobbs.
Schmitt, essentially advocates a paradigm shift from the traditional functional – transactional approaches to marketing (citing Kotler’s work), towards one which takes account of the “experience” of being a customer, from cradle to grave (however long that might be). He argues a need to take the customer seriously; to recognise customers as assets of a business, without whom the company would not exist and worthy of boardroom consideration and respect.
Schmitt’s 5 steps towards Customer Experience Management:
Greg Smith states clearly the linkage between the values of the firm, where it positions the customer and the degree of engagement he feels with it.
Companies embarking on a journey of Customer Experience Management need to understand that it has to be a cultural shift across the organisation. It needs to be led by example, from the top, engaging employees in the movement to place the customer at the heart of how the company goes about its business.