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Listen to your customers

by Rakesh Goyal
Indian Management November 2021

Keeping the customers happy and satisfied is critical to the survival of business in today’s ‘customer’s era’. Having a robust customer management system can help companies acquire new customers, retain the existing ones, and also convert potential customers to customers/consumers.

It takes months to find a customer... seconds to lose one. - Vince Lombardi
Keeping the customers happy and satisfied is critical to the survival of business in today’s ‘customer’s era’.
Having a robust customer management system can help companies acquire new customers, retain the existing ones, and also convert potential customers to customers/ consumers. Moreover, it has been observed that satisfied customers are likely to bring in more customers through word-of-mouth medium. Such a customer also holds the factor of loyalty to the brand, and, in return, enhances the reputation of the company.

Customer experience management (CEM or CXM) refers to various company policies or protocols that are designed to enhance the overall customer satisfaction. This enables the company or brand to increase customer loyalty towards them and ensure continuous as well as repetitive business.

A successful CEM system would help the business/company to obtain the following benefits:

  • Enhance the experience of the existing customers;
  • Give more insights on customers—it will help analyse the customer data and identify the upscaling factors;
  • Combine data from different sources to create a collated data centre for customer analysis reports. Also, it would help in segmentation of the customers depending on their needs and help in acquiring better insights on their needs;
  • Enhance customer retention;
  • Anticipate the future needs of the customers through new and existing data.

CEM for today’s organisations
Apart from being a sales opportunity or revenue generation medium, a customer, in today’s world, is someone who can drive the business to great heights or knock it down quickly.

A company could have the best possible product in the segment, but if not sold correctly and treated the customers right, then there is never a guarantee of it being a success. Having a well-organised CEM system helps build a robust relationship with customers. It is also critical to enhancing crisis management techniques for any business.

As per the Harvard Business Review, “Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one”. It further says that, “If you’re not convinced that retaining customers is so valuable, consider research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) that shows increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”

CEM system is also important to maintain the churn rate and increasing customer retention for a specific brand or company.

Impact on brand reputation & profits of the organisation
Inclusion of enhancing factors that improve customer relationship allows the organisations to manage, serve, acquire, and extract definite values from the customers and enhance the company efficiency by targeting the right audience. This also helps to establish robust long-term relationships that ensures that the customer keeps coming back, thereby creating new business for the company and expediting the RoIs. It also helps manage customer interactions effectively, and in return, enhance the brand reputation and achieve sustainable growth.

How can organisations achieve great customer experience?
While strategising a great customer experience, organisations need to ensure that they do it for existing as well as new customers. Ensure that you have the right strategy in place to establish the required trust within your customers about your brand or company. Creating strategies and implementing them in the right way helps to upscale the reliability factor within the minds of the consumers. Creating quality content that can be used to communicate with the customers both physically or digitally can also have a significant impact on the prospects and for generating new consumers for your products or business.

Make the best use of data
Ensure that you make the best use of data and insights in order to boost the sales and understand the future demand of your existing customers. Constantly reviewing your previous customer results can help identify whether you are putting the efforts in the right direction and targeting the right audience as per your product or business. As rightly quoted by Steve Jobs, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.”

Keep your customers or prospects engaged
Prospects do not turn into customers overnight, nor does brand promotion happen in a single day. One needs to understand that this is a long process, and hence needs to be handled with a proper strategy. Keeping your customers or prospects engaged helps gain the confidence of the prospects and later turn them into customers.

Try to address the objections about your products
If your customer has some incorrect assumptions about your brand then it becomes your duty to identify those assumptions and address them. This creates a positive perception of your offering in the customer’s mind.

Another factor that might impact your customer management process is selling harder to your customers. This is one of the biggest mistakes that many companies make. Such an action could be quite annoying at times— receiving considerable promotional emails on a busy working day, follow up calls, etc. Pushy sales are not likely to improve your conversion rates as the customer of today is far more educated and discerning.

Hence, designing and reacting to customer interactions or to meet/exceed customer expectations is highly necessary to ensure customer loyalty, satisfaction, and advocacy, and a good CEM strategy will help achieve this.

While implementing such strategies, one might require to undergo certain alterations in the existing process and the existing technologies to ensure successful results.

Rakesh Goyal is Director, Probus Insurance Brokers Private Limited.

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