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Customer Experience 1 – Strategic alignment

There is significant value to be realised from customer retention. 

Most Business to Business (B2B) organisations are facing the reality of the recent  economic downturn. Technology is changing the nature of customer interactions. Growth in social media, mobility and other channels adds complexity to relationship development.Add to this an environment where buyers are more informed and demand greater concessions from suppliers and the result is greater competition for more limited budgets.

80% of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, only 8% of their customers agree   (Source: Bain & co. 2005)

So, differentiating your offer has never been more challenging. You have the opportunity to deliver long term value from an improved customer experience and numerous studies have demonstrated the clear linkage between customer experience improvements and shareholder value. After all, it is much easier to retain existing clients than it is to win new ones, so this must be a real priority.

The business case is compelling. Focus activities to improve the customer experience and SAVE time, effort, waste and cost. CREATE profitable revenues from finding new and nurturing existing client relationships.

STAGE 1 – STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT

Improving performance will certainly  demand change. consistent with any transformation activity, fully engaged senior executives can make the difference between success and failure.

Executives must ‘get it’ if they are to deliver sustained improvement. Using ’voice of customer’ (VOC) feedback to engage employees, customers and partners and to inform the strategic planning process.

Use feedback for tight alignment of performance objectives and empower teams across the organisation to improve.

89% of businesses believe that improving the customer experience is ‘very important’ or ‘critical’ (Source: Forrester 2010)

Harness the passion for customer focus at all levels in the organisation and  prioritise activities associated with your improved understanding of customer segments, and their individual needs, to prioritise activities.

Ongoing reinforcement and clear communication will change the organisation wide perspective regarding customers and create focus that will help to break down silos across departments.

Above all it is vital that senior managers don’t play lip service to the whole process. Denial wont change reality.

TOP TIPS FOR OUTSIDE IN THINKING

1. Ensure that executive team support is clear, explicit and focused.

2. Assign resources to the project who are able to sustain improvement

Also in this Customer Experience series :

Stage 2 – Listen

Stage 3 – Understand

Stage 4 – Focus

Stage 5 – Engage

 

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