Using the Power of Insight
By Ben Tresham
In the Business to Consumer (B2C) world many companies don’t have clear sight of their customers, but focus more on product sales, revenue, market share, productivity, quality, etc.
Performance figures often fly around executive offices, sometimes providing peace of mind & sometimes panic! But a key question is all-too-often missed in the statistics - how can we serve our customers better? Does your customer insight make it back to the sharp end and help attain a higher level of customer experience?
The bigger question here is whether you have a business system to gather the right information and utilise it to improve your customer experience - and thereby sales & retention.
Having the right MIS (Management Information System) in place is a vital component to understanding the points of delight or dissatisfaction in your customer journey - and if you have a leaky sales funnel. In today’s multi-channel world just measuring ‘satisfaction’ (or even NPS) with your traditional channels might not be enough.
The growth of Social Media has taught us that you can gauge customer sentiment through less conventional means. Social media is now a powerful tool for understanding customers – IF businesses listen & respond! In the U.S. a major Airline operator managed to lose 10% of their share price (and their shareholders $180m) by providing a customer with a bad experience and then not responding to or measuring the fallout correctly.
Constantly refine and update your methods to perceive and respond to changing customer needs & behaviours
Gathering insight into your customers’ needs and behaviours across traditional and new channels is about as much use as a chocolate teapot unless you do something with the information.
You must track the trends appearing and respond in a measured and thoughtful manner. If your customers are telling you (and the world!!) that your service is useless don’t ignore it! Engage, respond and make the required changes keeping customers in the loop – this will build TRUST.
Without an adequate response your customers will be left feeling dissatisfied – you’ve given them a reason to leave!
Don’t let a ‘new set’ of behavioural performance figures take over though. There is a lot to be said for the ‘human touch’ when dealing with customers – even in digital channels - no one likes to feel like they’re talking to a robot.
Here at WCL we passionately believe that insight is required into both the physical AND emotional aspects of customer experience, and highly recommend that you do too.
Ben Tresham works for the Customer Management arm of WCL and has been innovating in the world of Customer Experience Insight.
Ben Tresham, 17/05/2012