The goal of all businesses today is to be “customer-centric,” and most are getting better at it. However, they miss out on building deeper, longer and more meaningful relationships with customers, especially if they provide the same experiences as everyone else. It is therefore important to cross the barrier to the next step – “customer obsession.”
What is Customer Obsession?
Customer obsession is in danger of becoming a buzzword these days. While a business may think and care about its customers, it needs to delve deeper to be called customer obsessed. We are in “The Age of the Customer”- where buyers have heightened access to product information and greater expectations on what a product should deliver. They have multiple avenues to make buying decisions such as independent research, conversations with friends, online review sites etc. While buying behavior was previously considered predictable and linear, these factors make customer buying patterns now appear “random”. But truly customer obsessed businesses know that is not the case. Organizations need to be better prepared to be able to WOW their customers and this can only happen if they focus on building a customer obsessed culture.
So, what do customer obsessed companies do, not just in certain departments, but across the entire organization? Here are the 6 factors we identified:
1. Incorporate customer obsession in company values
Organizations should include customer focus in their mission statement and take actions consistently to make customer obsession an organization-wide habit. The former is to ensure that the organization’s stance on customer obsession is declared for everyone to know. The latter is to back up the values statements with actions that reinforce those statements. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, regularly leaves a chair empty during meetings to represent the customer. This serves as a constant reminder for employees about who the most important person in the room is and who they should be planning for in every single meeting.
2. Customer satisfaction above all
Businesses should identify customer satisfaction as one of their key metrics, so that employees can be motivated to put customers first. At all-hands meetings, CSAT scores should be announced before revenues, and customer feedback should be shared with everyone. This makes every employee aware of the tangible customer experiences they are helping create, and the monetary impact associated with those experiences. Therefore, a sense of responsibility is created across the organization, where every employee believes in the power of customer experience and outcomes.
3. Define what customer obsession means to each employee
Within each organization, customer obsession can mean different things across different functions. While the CSAT team may interpret customer obsession one way, the sales, marketing, delivery and other teams may interpret it some other way. Organizations should standardize and clearly define what customer obsession means to each of these functions to create customer-focused employees. An awareness of the correlation between obsession and revenues should be clearly defined too.
4. Reward employees who deliver outstanding CX
Instead of putting the onus on leadership for creating memorable customer experiences, businesses should learn to make customer obsession an organizational initiative. It is important to reward employees who go above and beyond with their customer commitment. Organizations like American Express even give employees financial bonuses based on customer feedback.
5. Measure churn rate and customer lifetime value
It shouldn’t be surprising, but customer satisfaction reflects in company revenues. A happy customer will interact with your brand repetitively without looking at your competitors. Their positive opinions about your brand will affect metrics like repeated transactions, customer lifetime value, and churn rate. Organizations should share these numbers with employees to motivate them to increase sales numbers. Make this an internal challenge or goal for everyone to chase and watch your employees move the needle!
6. Employ technology platforms to manage and interpret data
Customer obsessed companies know that data is the fuel that drives unique customer experiences. But all companies have data. How you manage, enrich and govern this data is the differentiator. Data mostly exists in silos across functions, and it’s important to break those silos to get a 360° customer profile. A technology platform that enables organizations to extract data from silos and interpret it to provide deeper insights is crucial on your journey towards customer obsession.
How can OSG help your organization move towards customer obsession?
OSG’s DynamoTM is an important tool on your customer obsession voyage. Our AI-based, big-data platform, DynamoTM can collate, manage, and interpret customer data and help you understand what behavioral triggers can help customers stay motivated and engaged with your products. It can measure customer expectations and feedback to design personalized experiences that ensure your customers stay loyal and engaged, thereby reducing churn and increasing customer retention. With DynamoTM, you can even design loyalty programs that guarantee engaged customers and generate increased revenue.