Is it possible to increase the average lifetime value of a customer in such a way that is better for the customer and better for the business?
I believe the answer is yes and this isn’t about better promotion and marketing, although I would contend that improving these areas of any business will help in some way.
I think businesses of all shapes and sizes have reached a turning point because the world isn’t like it used to be.
Customers and consumers are more critical than ever, have access to the web with all its social media, videos, comments and are reaching out to each other more than any time before.
In what way are they reaching out?
To praise and to criticise, people do the latter much more readily than they do the former. Consumers will no longer be fobbed off and are voting with their cash strained wallets.
Even the largest of brands who have licensed off their products to extract more profit from their name are looking nervously over their shoulder. A name built up over years can be destroyed incredibly quickly by sloppy products, sloppy customer service or a combination of both.
Listed companies believe and their senior managers are paid to increase so called shareholder value. In so doing, they ditch long term plans for short term gain and what are they left with? More on this later in the report.
Products and services are delivered with not enough thought given to how it effects their customers.
And customers are leaving. They go elsewhere and when they do a business must spend more to acquire a new customer.
“In 2016, CX will be among the top ten critical success factors determining who will win and who will fail in the age of the customer.”
The Process Monster
A book was written recently titled “The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experience” by Matt Watkinson and I’m incredibly thankful to Matt for writing this great book. I’d recommend it to anyone who has a business, runs a business or is thinking of running a business.
Matt, makes some very valid points and I happen to generally agree with him.
Think about this, we are all buyers of products and services and I wouldn’t mind betting there have been times when you thought, why is this so hard, so stressful an experience. All I want to be able to do is XYZ and yet I’m made to jump through so many hoops.
The observation though and the question is this. When was the last time you bought something from your own company/business? Do it and see if you’re surprised. Was there a surprise of a pleasant experience, was some part of the experience poor or was it just okay?
In many cases, it’s almost as if all common sense has been sucked up by the process monster. I call it a process monster because surely a process can’t be this bad. If the process monster’s job is to be a pain in the rear end, it has succeeded.
I’m a customer, you’re a customer, we are all customers and yet we are all of us disappointed by poor customer experiences at various moments.
The experiences which stand out for excellence are in short supply but they are there and when we are happy we are more than likely happy to share it with one or two friends.
A poor experience though and we seem happy to tell the world and sometimes do via our social channels.
Talking about process monsters would be wrong without mentioning the system monster.
System monsters are things which stop businesses from increasing profits, lowering costs and generally having fun.
Most business problems are problems of a system and the way systems interact between each department and the big wide world of customers.
And yet, many and possibly most businesses focus on departmental targets, individual targets which stop the business as a whole from moving forward.
Wouldn’t it be better to encourage a business to look at the whole?