Building an award winning customer centric experience was at the very heart of the many companies I judged at the UK Business Awards in London and the International Business Awards in Amsterdam, I had the privilege and opportunity to learn from so many companies. My lane of responsibility as I chaired the judges was on customer centric organisations. Therefore, I want to share some insights with you, so that you too can build an award winning customer centric experience, setting you apart from your competitors.
At the time of this reflection, we are experiencing the impact of Covid-19 and how we are all having to adjust and learn as we move ahead in unchartered waters.
As a business growth consultant, I understand the huge importance of customer centric care. I have often reminded my clients that to build a strong brand, you need to build your customer centric experience.
Having judged so many companies in the UK and abroad, I have learnt so much as I hear and see what companies are doing as they look to develop their own customer centric experience.
If there was ever a time to review and upgrade your customer centric experience – it is NOW!
To read an earlier blog about Leading change through challenging times, click HERE.
I could share many insights with you that would help you to stand out from your competitors as you move your company forward. However, in this post I am going to share just two key insights. These two will help you to set you apart in these challenging times, helping you build an award winning customer centric experience.
1. Customer centric experience is not an “add-on”.
Customer centric experience should not just be a fashionable statement. It is not something just to consider, or even just to have as a plaque on the wall. It does not belong to one department.
So, what is it?
It is a process that the whole company is committed to regardless of the role team members may have. It is a process that is owned and developed throughout every segment of the organisation.
Great customer centric experience must touch every area of an organisation. It becomes the centre point from where decisions are made.
The marketing department is not the centre. The customer experience is the centre. Having the customer centric experience as the centre point can be a challenge for many companies.
2. Clear goals and objectives.
I noticed in these companies they all had clear goals and objectives. Without clear goals and objectives, it is difficult to move forward in the right areas.
Questions to consider:
What are your goals and objectives as you build your customer experience? Can you articulate them clearly? Is it a process that you are committed to following?
Each of these companies went through a rigorous process to define what goals they were going to aim for and why each goal was important to them and their customers.
Goals are good; however, the right goals are imperative. I have seen companies pursue wrong goals, which has led to poor results. Wrong goals can often be established from the wrong way of thinking, as well as starting from the wrong starting line.
To help achieve the right goals, always start with the customer in the centre. From this centre point work backwards.
Don’t work toward, rather work from the customer’s perspective.
Reverse thinking or reverse engineering can be a challenge for some mindsets – however the ultimate rewards can be huge.
The challenge and downfall I have often seen noted is that through very good intentions working toward the customer, the process is too long and goes through so many people and departments that the focus of the customer experience can be lost.
This is not a battle for a marketing department or any other department – it is a battle for the customer centric experience. By staying very close to your customers, you can often hear whispers of feedback and insights that can revolutionise a business.
Learning from your customers will help you grow your brand through customer centric experience.
If you are serious about customer centric experience, which I am sure you are – you will find that you are in the learning business!
Often, we can be so close to the processes, plans, quarterly results, etc. of a business that we miss our focus. Sometimes we need to challenge the way we listen to our customers.
Customers are the ones you want to be listening to. Your ability to listen, learn and lead the change from the customers perspective will help to set you apart from your competitors.
I have often found the best way to learn from customers, is to understand the way they think and respond to certain situations. When I can adjust my way of thinking and understanding to be the same as my customer, I can serve them so much more effectively. I use a DISC profile tool that helps me.
Research suggests that the most effective salespeople are the ones who can quickly determine the personality style (and thus buying style) of their customers and can quickly adapt to that — selling to their buying style.
As a result, when your customer senses that you understand them, they will begin to trust you and will be more inclined to buy from you.
To read an earlier blog about becoming more effective in understanding your clients, click HERE.
Action is needed in this vital area, as you seek to be the best you can be for your clients. Winston Churchill once said – ‘I never worry about action, but only inaction’.
As I work with clients, we often apply my 3 L’s approach for great customer centric experience to goals and objectives, which helps in making some very wise choices.
With the following approach, this will enable you to engage at a much higher level with you customer and therefore you will be able to help them more:
Proactively listen to your customers. The companies I judged knew the importance of this and applied an effective process for the listening process to happen.
Learn from the listening. You have a great opportunity to learn. Learn about your customers’ needs and desires. Learning from your customers helps you stay ahead. They hold so much customer intelligence, but so often we think we know better, resulting in missing out on the things we really need to know.
From the listening, we learn, from the learning we now can lead the change required when it comes to enhancing the customer centric experience.
Don’t lead change based upon your own thoughts or desires. Lead the change that needs to happen from the customer feedback which is your valuable customer intelligence.
Some companies say, “We listen to our customers.” However, my question is, what have you learned from your customers and how will this impact your customer centric experience?
I could share so much more with you about my experience of judging numerous companies in England and abroad. So if you would like to know more and how you can build your brand during these challenging times by implementing a strategic customer experience programme, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Who are your customers?
- How well are you meeting their needs and unmet needs?
- What process do you have in place to listen to your customers?
- In what ways have you changed your approach from the feedback you have had from your customers?
- How have your customers needs and desires changed since Covid-19?
- How will you change your customer centric experience with the challenges of Covid-19?
- What could the impact be on your company, if you build an award winning customer centric organisation?