We’ve all heard the old adage, “The customer is always right,” and I can bet we’ve all pointed it out at least once when we were disappointed in a product or service. In my own recent experience, I jumped on Twitter the minute my cable went out during the first five minutes of the NCAA championship game (UVA vs. Texas Tech) to complain to my cable provider and let them know I was ready to dump the box for a higher-tech solution. I felt relieved knowing I could get online, have my voice be heard, and hopefully show up in their weekly issue tracking. But let’s be clear: My cable provider wasn’t proactive in alerting me to the issue OR the resolution.
As a marketer, I know our job as service providers is to address pain points for our clients and to plan for the future in an effort to retain and grow our customer base. In a recent interview, former Netflix executive Joel Mier reiterated this concept and added that solving for customer pain points was Netflix’s initial focus – which led to much of their success and the demise of their main competitor, Blockbuster.
But to be successfully customer-centric, you can’t just solve for current pain points – you have to have a relationship with your customers and be able to predict and solve for future needs as you bring new products and services to market. Amazon, for example, has excelled at building a customer-centric strategy – from seamless ordering to simple tracking and round-the-clock customer service for returns and issue resolution. They continue to surprise and delight customers by offering new services like Amazon Restaurants (thank you, Amazon, for offering me yet another service I didn’t know I needed until you offered it to me!). Customer focus is evident in all parts of their business.
For companies looking to lead with a customer-centric focus, it’s imperative to put the customer and their needs at the center of your business and ensure the customer experience is on point for every engagement. That takes more than just talking to customers. You also need to analyze the data associated with your services and sales and determine how every aspect of your business can deliver the best customer experience from all points of interaction.
The great news for all of us is that companies that lead in customer-centric strategies are benefiting greatly from doing so, outperforming the market by 107.5%, according to Watermark Consulting. They cite higher revenues and lower expenses, which makes being a customer-centric company a definite win-win. So it’s time to think about your company’s entire process and the changes you could make to help your customers feel valued.
Then maybe you can give those tips to my cable provider.
Senior Account Manager
When Jessie’s not busy putting her leadership skills to the test to help Dotted Line clients, you can find her planning her next weekend adventure with her family.