“The customer’s perception is your reality.” ~ Kate Zabriskie, Author
As the talks of impending lockdown were filtering in, since mid-February, we thought of buying a TV for our living room, which I could watch from my workstation. We could sense that WFH is going to stretch for some more months of the year, maybe forever for people like me. As we were using a particular brand already, we bought the same TV brand from the dealer closer to home. Now, we were all set for the next round. After watching it for a month or so, we realized that TV has some software related issues.
We informed the company, they took the note and sent their engineers 1-2-3-4 times to fix it, but to no avail. I decided to return the TV, which was a highly unlikely scenario, but I tried. I wrote to their Korean HQ straightaway. Unbelievably, they were very prompt in connecting and understanding the problem, they went ahead with withdrawing the set. The whole process was quite smooth and efficient, maybe I will go for the same brand for my next purchase. This is a real and practical Customer First approach.
Indeed, technology can effectively aid this approach, but there is no match for human intervention. Human touch and emotional connection with your customer or potential customer can go a long way. However, you can combine technological solutions with a broader organizational approach to build a customer-first culture. Building on customer experience is gaining priority worldwide with the organisations, as not only customer acquisition cost is high, but the collateral damage it does to the reputation is even higher. Their fragile loyalty will lead to loss of word-of-mouth appreciation, customer loyalty and referrals, which are great ways of generating revenue.
“Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.” ~ Anonymous
Customer First ideally should be your organisation’s attitude, no employee should think twice before rendering it. Companies need to form a vision statement that spells out ways and means to build on better customer experience. It is needed to be implemented in your everyday policies and procedures so that employees understand its importance. If an organisation inculcates it as a business practice, it would become an organic extension of its core vision. The customer would start connecting and appreciating it, spread it through word-of-mouth, and this would provide unique mileage to any organisation.
As I mentioned above, you can deploy technology to gather, collate and assess customer feedback. It is extremely helpful for not only boosting your sales but also product innovation. Research data reveals that 84% of businesses that focus on improving their customer experience, have better financial outcomes than their competition. Besides, companies with the best Customer Experience witness nearly six times the revenue than those with poor Customer Experience.
Hence, it is very important to align your organisation to a customer-first approach in today’s times, when customers are over-sensitive about this aspect. The combination of a rich cash flow, the best team and a good product may still not succeed if you do not have a customer-first approach.
So, let it be ‘Customer First & Foremost’ for you!