eringilliam: customer-expectations*

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  1. We hear companies throwing around common phrases like, ‘Customer centricity is at the heart of our organisation’ and ‘We’re very much in tune with the needs of our customers’. Not surprisingly, seeing as how according to a study carried out by Bain and company, 80% of organisations they surveyed believed that they were providing a superior customer experience to their customers. Meanwhile, just 8% of their customers shared this opinion. Only eight percent! This is a huge disconnect and gap in perception, one that is commonly referred to as the customer experience gap.
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  2. Customer-centric businesses put customers at the core of the business, then make policy and process design decisions centered on the needs of those customers. That customer focus compels naysayers to label customer centricity as an ill-advised business strategy.

    What happens, those naysayers ask, when your heart pushes you to take action that interferes with a long and prosperous future?

    For example, let’s say you need to raise fees, but your customers disagree. Or you have policies in place to secure and protect your institution’s assets, but those policies feel unfriendly to your customers. How can making a decision that is best for customers also be a smart strategy for your business?
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  3. The final discipline of growth banking is all about listening and acting on feedback from your customers. This discipline requires an understanding of measure and metrics. It requires a commitment to closed-loop feedback. And it starts with the decision to either build or buy a Voice of the Customer solution for your own organization.

    But it's important to note: having customer data and following up with individual customer and employee feedback is not enough to move your overall Net Promoter or Customer Loyalty scores.

    Yes, you will be improving the experience for customers who share their insights and experiences with you.

    But moving the overall scores will take a keen eye and a lot of analysis of customer insights. You'll need to pinpoint the one thing to do next to improve your business. Whether it's adapting a solution, adding a feature, or emphasizing a capability, it takes systemic changes to impact the experience of customer segments (or for all of your customers).
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  4. The pace of change in the world of B2B is famously rapid, which makes the task of generating impactful strategies difficult: no sooner have you settled on and refined your plan of action going forward than you realize a competitor is achieving results with a technique or tactic you’d never even heard of, let alone mastered. The increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence makes this unavoidable to a degree, but the best thing you can do is cover all bases, frequently refresh your knowledge of the emerging technologies, and commit wholeheartedly to your own tailored, data-driven processes.
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  5. Here is some advice for entrepreneurs and even managers in corporate companies. Never assume you really know your potential customer. Ever. That will force you to do several things:
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  6. 50% of the customers say that they switch to a different brand if their needs aren’t met.

    On the contrary, customers wouldn’t change their mobile network operator over a single incident of bad connectivity issue. Similarly, even when a customer has to struggle for months to get a wrongly debited payment from their account, they are less likely to stop doing business with that bank.

    While increased expectations have led customers to frequently switch brands, there are certain industries like real estate, banking, and telecom where customers stay loyal by default. Why?
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  7. Quick, how many services or memberships do you subscribe to? One? Two? Twenty? You know your wallet is stuffed with membership cards (roadside assistance, your local gym, and Costco) and your front porch welcomes monthly subscription boxes (Blue Apron, Trunk Club, and Honest Essentials), while your go-to entertainment is no longer cable TV but subscription-based media (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.) The scene at work is the same: subscriptions abound for things like Salesforce, teleconferencing services, training programs, Harvard Business Review…
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  8. Today’s consumer has incredibly high expectations of the brands they spend their time and money with. Consumers realize they are not beholden to brands as options arise across the ever-expanding market of goods and services, and brands have begun listening to customers to help drive their product roadmaps, and ultimately, to drive success through loyalty. Going one step further, customers no longer only compare brands to their direct competitors; they compare their experiences to the best customer experience they’ve ever received, which sets the bar even higher.

    But even though today’s brands are wising up to the importance of listening, a gap still exists between customer feedback and how brands act on it. According to a new report from Gladly, 92% of customers say they would stop purchasing from a company after three or fewer poor customer service experiences, and 26% of those would stop after just one bad experience. Listening to and acting on feedback shows respect, and quite frankly, today’s consumers don’t have the time or patience to deal with brands who don’t respect them.
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  9. Customers love being listened to and would travel many miles to find a listening partner. If you want to attract customers, always listen to them. Listen, resolve customer complaints amicably, and keep promises. Always solicit customer feedback on products and services and strive to improve your offerings. Work to exceed customers’ expectations.
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  10. Cynical consumers often seem to perceive travel insurers as cumbersome entities that are slow to handle claims, difficult to communicate with and reluctant to settle. A common complaint is that exclusions are often buried in small print or couched in language that is hard for the customer to understand. For insurers, finding ways to meet customer expectations – and ensuring that those expectations are realistic – has become a key issue. Digital technology enables consumers to shop around for their policies, meaning that companies that fail to meet their demands will lose out. Digital technology in the insurtech age is an ever more useful tool, offering swift online handling of claims and settlements and, for insurers who embrace it, a closer and mutually beneficial means of communicating with their insureds. “Over the last few years, there have been some incredible initiatives among travel insurers and their supporting third-party administrators to improve the customer experience and embrace the growth of app, mobile, and online journeys in the education, sales and servicing of policyholders and claimants alike,” said Carl Carter, Managing Director of Voyager Insurance.
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