This is why you need to be ‘Customer-Obsessed’
When you hear the phrase ‘Customer-Obsessed’, you could be forgiven for thinking it means being driven to attract new customers to your business. But it’s a philosophy that means understanding your customers as intimately as possible so that you can provide them with the best possible service at all times. If you think this isn’t important, keep in mind that 97% of global consumers cite customer service as an important factor in choosing a product or service.
What does it mean to be ‘Customer Obsessed’?
‘Customer obsession’ is a concept best embodied by Netflix. Netflix use focus groups and surveys to develop a hypothesis on how their service can be improved that is then A/B tested to determine effectiveness. They use these findings in conjunction with existing data, further qualitative (surveys), and quantitative (viewing figures) research to reach solid, actionable conclusions about customer preferences. Employing all three information points to better understand your customers is one way you can be “Customer Obsessed”.
So, being driven to understand your customers better means more than simply using NPS or sending the occasional survey. At Pendula we have a number of ways in which we practice our own customer obsession, including:
- Observe and measure
While you can gain insights from customers by simply asking them, we don’t rely solely on their willingness to be upfront and honest (or even to necessarily to have deep insight into their usage!). We like to observe the customer using the product through usability and in-the-field studies in an effort to collate a fuller picture of exactly how Pendula is being used.
- All teams are connected to our customers
Not only are our Sales, Customer Success and Delivery managers feeding back customer insights and requirements, we connect Product Managers and Designers directly to end-users regularly. This ensures we’re addressing their needs in our service and in our product.
- Emphasis on customer problems, rather than features
Rather than developing lists of features that customers don’t use, we start every engagement with customers from a use-case position – what is their ideal state, and what problems are they trying to solve? This helps us create a product that is actually used and useful for customers, and helps them solve real problems in their business.
- Observe and measure
‘Customer Obsession’ is great for customers
Understanding how to respond to, or even anticipate, your customers’ needs means technical and other issues get solved quicker and easier. A smooth resolution keeps a customer engaged and satisfied, preventing moving to a competitor. Customer churn doesn’t just affect vendors, the customer themselves have significant costs and disruption in the process of change.
Consider, for example, a health care provider. One of the most regular use cases with see with our healthcare customers is automation of appointment reminders. Before automation and access to patient data, this process is prohibitively expensive, and requires staff managing manual follow ups and reminders. Not only that, sending appointment reminders helps patients stay organised and prevents forgetful no-shows. If customers express a desire to receive test results by text message, they feel heard – and automating this process would mean staff can focus on less repetitive tasks.
If patients enter a model of care that requires repeat visits, allowing online bookings to cater to the new situation means the business has evolved to suit them – and means fewer phone calls for staff to attend to.
‘Customer Obsession’ is great for businesses
Excellent customer service is an important selling point in a market where customers can, and do, quickly and easily move to a competitor. Excellent customer service keeps customers happy, and therefore reduces churn.
It’s also easier to up-sell and cross-sell to existing customers, especially when they are satisfied. One study found that an improved customer experience can grow revenue by five to 10 percent over a span of three years. Another discovered that three out of four people have spent more at a company because of a history of positive experiences.
‘Customer Obsession’ needs to be more than just a task for the communications or customer service teams. It needs to inform the whole business strategy. The feedback from customers can help inform a product roadmap that better meets their needs, and therefore will continue to dominate market-share. At that point the lifetime value of a customer increases exponentially.
If a business adjusts to the needs of a customer, they feel heard. If their requirements change, and the business evolves to suit them, they feel valued. It’s time to make sure your customers feel valued. It’s time to become ‘Customer Obsessed’.