Customer expectations have gone much ahead of product quality and features like convenience, personalisation and privacy have become equally important. Hence, customer – centricity can create competitive advantage for businesses across industries. It has become more important, as the customers have platforms for directly voicing their experiences and feedbacks. Organisations need to plan and build systems to enhance customer experience by on-boarding their company staff and other stakeholders. Certain gaps that are created while the execution of these plans can hinder this process.
Customer experience journey needs to be structured in a way where following gaps should not be over looked.
1. Unable to convert customer experience into numbers
Many times the leaders in a company fail to understand direct relationship between customer experience and the business goals. A better customer experience would lead to customer satisfaction that could ensure repeat purchases and thus, higher revenues. This relationship should be understood in order to ensure the involvement of all the concerned members of the organisation. Bringing small changes in the day to day operations to improve customer experience can translate to better numbers. These efforts should be used for acquiring new customers, increasing market share and hence, a better business.
2. Failing to prioritise
It is crucial to understand that every business is different and thus the efforts that could impact the customer experience need to be different as well. In some cases the on-boarding of customers could be the most important step while in others it could be delivery of the service. The management needs to prioritise the area in which their business could create larger impact in enhancing the customer experience. Large number of fragmented efforts in all directions do not lead to desired results. Instead, focused initiatives in the areas of priority when channelized properly could create double-fold impact.
3. Disregarding the backstory
With the increase in the number of various channels through which a customer can buy a product/service, the customer purchase journey has become way more complex. While dealing with issues of customer dissatisfaction, a lot of times leaders fail to dig deep into the backstory of the situation. Solving the customer related problems necessarily does not mean instant solutions. The root cause for these problems should be studied and only then the appropriate measures should be taken. Taking preventive actions at the customer touchpoints may not solve the real problem and hence could generate a new one. Researching thoroughly and tracing the whole customer journey is the most crucial step before taking any action. Customer journey maps could be created with the help of various resources that include customer interviews, feedbacks, purchase history and data dashboards. The customer purchase journey can reveal a lot of insights regarding the customer experience that could be used to draw important conclusions.
With the emergence of newer segments of customers and their ever increasing expectations, companies need to think differently to resolve customer related problems. For better customer experience, creative solutions should be encouraged within the organisation. A constricted mind-set would hamper the growth of creative culture amongst the workforce of the organisation. Employees at every level encounter customer challenges and are directly
dealing with the customers in many cases. They should be encouraged to suggest innovative ideas that could be assessed by the management and can be further implemented.
5. Saving time
Any project undertaken should be tested. Organisations must allow the experimentation and assessment of ideas before they are applied practically. Discarding the process of trial for saving time could cost a lot to the business, later. Procedures like interviewing customers, taking feedbacks, product testing can be time consuming and need patience but can give crucial insights. Running the solution at a smaller level as a pilot project could be one way of doing this. Also, creative solutions need time and experimentation in order to get better aligned with the goals of the company.
Customer centric approach can give a competitive edge to a company over other players in the industries. Building a customer base that is satisfied, loyal and engaged can prove to be a ground breaking achievement in the longer run.