The bottom line of why Customer Experience matters.

'Your customers are your only profit centre' – Marshall Field (American Entrepreneur)

Based on a wealth of research and insights into how our brains work, it has become clear that companies have been approaching customer retention and loyalty the wrong way. Those who understand this and are embracing new methods of attracting and keeping customers have an opportunity to create game changing customer relationships. One that can have an exponential impact on their profits.

Decade after decade, companies have achieved success by focusing almost exclusively on customer acquisition, (hunting for new customers). In my 17 years in the industry I have seen budgets for marketing, advertising and prospecting swell with the goal of increasing ‘awareness’ and ‘mindshare’. Customer experience has been an after thought at best.

Your customers can no longer be ignored.

There are compelling social, technological and economic reasons over the last decade that cannot be ignored. How you sell to and interact with your customers has changed. It has always mattered whether your customers stay or leave, whether they buy more, what they say about your business. But there is a new dynamic at play. When you treat your existing customers as an after thought, they now have a real ability to impact your profitability.

The fact is that in most industries, any effort to keep your best customers is exponentially more rewarding than your efforts to acquire new customers.

How much more rewarding?

In most industries, it is between three, to five, to even ten fold from a revenue and profit stand point.

Many businesses are missing the golden opportunity to increase their profits. Instead they are increasing their costs with an ineffective approach to getting and keeping customers. If you want real growth you are going to need to invest in your customer retention strategy.

By looking at your overall customer experience and by devoting the time and resources to creating interactions that allow your current customers to feel a sense of investment on the part of the customer relationship you could reap the economic benefits.

You need to start with a commitment to understand the perspective of the customer. In other words you need to walk in your customers shoes. This isn’t just a methodology but an approach to everything you do. It needs to come through in your customer engagement process, your marketing, your sales, as well as how you interact with and reward your employee.

To start with you need to follow a process of reviewing all your company’s communications, interview your existing customers, prospects and employees. Followed by an analysis to gain a comprehensive perspective of the customer experience.

Focus on the specific behaviours of your customers and then walk in your customers shoes to truly understand the customer experience. By doing so you are doing the things you need to do in order to attract, embrace and retain your customers. The important thing is that you make a sincere effort to really understand what your customer experience looks and feels like.

The customer perceives services in his or her own terms. – Arch McGill

To ensure you are weaving your customer into the fabric of your business you need to develop your CX vision and values in line with your brand purpose. Empowering your employees, especially frontline staff to be customer centric.

A key component not to be overlooked is to know your customer numbers. They are anything you can get your hands on, sales by store or by household. Retention and attribution by customer segment, web analytics, customer lifetime value, churn rate etc. Numbers describe customer behaviour and behaviour is the ultimate truth serum. The numbers are somewhere in your business, hunt them down. Be relentless and find the numbers that describe your customer behaviour.

Want to understand how you can begin your journey today to benefit from CX and drive customer retention?

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