The customer experience: have customers been forgotten?

28.9.2011

In the current economic climate, keeping customers happy ought to be at the top of every company’s agenda. But many managers are simply too bogged down with cost cutting and reorganisation to focus on their customers’ basic needs. With budgets over-stretched and sales people under pressure to hit their targets, are we forgetting that Customer Experience needs to be at the heart of everything we do?

Customers are real people 

When customers feel valued by a company, they tend to encourage others to buy from that company too, creating much-needed revenue growth. Not surprisingly, they want to be treated as individuals, a factor which challenges large organisations worldwide. Consistency of delivery across all customer touchpoints is the key to building relationships which can withstand the draw of other companies offering new and exciting products or services.  A CEO who places a dedicated senior level individual at the forefront of customer service is giving a strong message to both customers and staff, that exceptional levels of service are not only important to the firm, but fundamental to its strategic direction. Concentrating on sales performance or cost reduction may seem the best policy when revenues are squeezed, but ignoring the customers’ needs can have catastrophic long-term consequences, such as losing loyal customers at an increasing rate. Taking a retail bank as an example, we find on average that 40% of customer churn is due to poor service, yet 80% of this is entirely avoidable.