The world of business is in turmoil today. Millions of businesses have been negatively impacted by the recession – a recession that shows few signs of abating. A handful of businesses have managed to thrive in this environment, mostly by being incredibly focused and by being innovative.
Many more have taken dramatic and drastic action to survive, some by moving operations to other countries, others by cutting people, products, premises, and anything else that “doesn’t add value,” and in the process cutting so deep as to inflict permanent damage to their futures, or at least suffering from the symptoms of corporate anorexia. Many have already closed down, or are already quite close to doing so.
In this environment, your competitors and rivals stop at nothing – moral or immoral, ethical or unethical, legal or illegal – to take customers away from your business. Suppliers increasingly squeeze your margins to help their businesses survive, and cut corners when under pressure.
Even worse, governments around the world interfere more and more with the day to day running of business, imposing more laws and making it increasingly more difficult to make an honest living. And the media – electronic, broadcast, printed, and everywhere else, have become cruel and incessant in their attacks on business.
And then there are customers. Citizens and customers around the world are more cynical and less trusting than ever before in human history, even as they have become more connected than ever before in human history. And you can’t really blame them: we cannot trust our political and business leaders because they have betrayed us. Our previously solid spiritual and religious leaders have been found lacking with scandals surrounding them, and hate speech translating into human tragedy. Our sports heroes and other celebrities cheat on their wives, cheat on the field and consume drugs in vast quantities.
Carrying this cynicism, and baring the burden of a complex world in which they are desperately short of money, desperately short of time, and surrounded by seemingly everyone demanding more and more and more, these mercenary customers arrive at your doorstep, (or on your website, or on a line to your call centre,) ready to do battle to get the best possible deal for themselves.
Richard Tedlow, professor of strategy at Harvard Business School, noted that companies decline for one of two reasons: either their customers leave them, or they leave their customers. We completely agree, for a business that takes care of customers surely will have customers that take care of the business. If you have too few customers, then the world of business will prove very unforgiving.
The consequences of having unhappy customers are just awful, but the few companies that prove that they are different, the few which make the lives of their customers a little bit easier, the few which constantly find ways to add value or treat customers with a bit more love and caring, are going to get the biggest share of the rewards. And the rewards of effective customer management are huge. For a comprehensive list of the important reasons to manage customers better, see the article on the ROI of Customer Management here.
Loyal customers make the company far more profitable…
- They return with repeat business over and over and over again, and are less price sensitive.
- They are easier to understand and to serve, and the cost to service them reduce.
- They are open to buying proportionately more from your business through cross sales and updates.
- They are far more likely to refer and recommend your business to other potential customers.
- They treat your business, your staff, and your property with more respect and consideration.
Why Do You Need a Customer Management Culture and Infrastructure?
Most companies everywhere are under pressure to solve critical problems and produce profitable results. These include:
- Increase market share and accelerate growth
- Be distinct from competitors and rivals, and be innovative
- Improve customer and employee loyalty
- And increase profitability
Solving these headaches secures the future of your organisation, and distinguishes your business from all the commoditised products and services. You are able to succeed without focusing on price, features and specifications. As your organisation improves its culture and infrastructure, you will also find innovation and improvement occur spontaneously, lasting relationships are built, staff morale and retention improves, waste and unnecessary costs are reduced, and the value you create for your customers results in increased profitability.
Effective customer management creates a culture and architecture in which every single employee embraces their role in creating perfect service experiences for your customers, in which all activities in the company are aligned with your customer value proposition, in which constant and continuous improvement exceeds all customer expectations, and in which the tangible and focused actions, attention and commitment show sustainable and measurable returns.
And that is why it is so urgent for your business to take action now. By managing your customers better and giving them perfect experiences you will be doing what it takes to thrive into the future, and achieve an unbeatable competitive edge. To find out more about our tested and proven Methodology, or Contact Us