This example is living proof that failing to recognise the importance of shifting focus away from keeping investors happy and directing it at how to keep our customers engaged and content will ultimately be the death of a business. The good news is that 88 per cent of CEOs in the UK are now considering moving to strategies and everyday processes that puts its customers at the very core of its operations; every business action will be evaluated on the impact that it will have on the customers, with relevant metrics and KPIs in place for each customer to measure the success of the work delivered. A 1 per cent increase in customer satisfaction translates into a 10% increase in revenue – The question we need to be asking ourselves is, what are the barriers when increasing your customer’s satisfaction?
The push for businesses to adopt a more customer centric attitude came into play into the telecommunications sector this year when Ofcom ruled that customers would be able to change operators without hefty penalties if they were provided with poor service. This means that businesses no longer have the security that they will have revenue for fixed contract lengths and will need to revaluate the measures they are taking to ensure they retain customers.
In today’s world of instant gratification, customers don’t just want immediate responses and deeper access –they simply expect it. There are no excuses either, we have the knowledge, the technology and the channels to be able to deliver. The legacy of customer centric is focused around the front arm of the business, the acquisition, the domain of sales and marketing. To be truly customer centric, the culture must extend beyond the face into the rest of the business; the billing, internal communication, outdated software, systems or managerial hierarchies and the core values.
There are some simple key areas that will propel your business into the realms of customer centric; investing in software solutions that are capable of integrating multidimensional aspects of the customer lifecycle and providing a unified view to everyone within the business, traditionally CRM and ERP systems have been split – leading to departmental barriers and the opportunity for customers to be misinformed. Embracing social media will give you both the transparency and visibility that builds customer trust – there is no place to hide on social media and even responding to criticism and negativity will build your brand. Implementing new software and channels will go a long way to giving staff the tools, but their way of thinking will need to adapt a business culture that embraces the values of a customer centric company; when it comes to employing or promoting staff, look out for leaders not managers that will influence and motivate staff, breeding a positive atmosphere that will touch and attract clients and prospects.
Raj Tulsani, CEO of Green Park comments, “The key leadership skill needed for the future is the same as the past; that duty to create and sustain trust is not a man shouting at his troops, it’s a CEO trying to find the mix of purpose, performance and honesty that resonates with the largest most satisfied, interconnected groups of savvy users the world has ever seen.”