For many businesses, success depends on sales, whether they are made to other businesses or to individual customers. This is one reason why creating a positive customer experience from beginning to end is so important. To do this effectively, you need every individual in your organization on board, even if they don’t interact directly with customers. Every employee must know that no matter what their role is within the company, each person affects the customer experience.
Achieving this type of culture doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a strong commitment from leadership and a sustained effort to shift the hearts and minds of every individual to behave in a customer centric way. The results of these efforts will speak for themselves when the organization becomes more successful.
Why Success Starts with a Superior Customer Experience
Companies today have to provide more than just a good product or service. Customers expect more, and if they’re not getting what they want from your organization, they’ll turn to another company to find it.
Customers Want It
Although the quality of the products or services you deliver is important, it might not be the deciding factor when customers make a purchase. Competitive pricing is also a consideration, but not necessarily the only one. In fact, one study showed that the customer experience is expected to be more important than either price or product by the year 2020, which is just around the corner.
Innovation, quality of products and services, and other factors will always play a role in the success of a company, but the customer experience has become a significant deciding factor that will ultimately impact the bottom line. If you’re not already paying attention to the B2B customer experience your company provides, your organization is at risk of getting left behind.
Businesses Benefit from It
The ROI of the customer experience is not easy to quantify, but a recent report from Qualtrics analyzed feedback from 10,000 customers and found that for a $1 billion company, even a moderate improvement in the customer experience would impact its revenue by an average of $775 million over three years. This is not an insignificant number for any organization, especially considering this is for a moderate improvement. Imagine what a major commitment to improving the customer experience could do for your company’s revenue.
The report also found a strong correlation between the customer experience and the decision to repurchase from a company. This is important because it is easier (and less expensive) to make sales to existing customers than it is to acquire new ones. Keeping your current customers delighted with both your products and the experience they have while purchasing them will only add to your bottom line.
The Customer Experience Goes Beyond Customer Service
Many companies make the mistake of focusing only on the customer service department or the employees who interact directly with customers. The reality is that every individual in the organization has the power to impact the customer experience. The software developers who create the website, the individuals who work on a manufacturing line, and the team that sends invoices all make decisions on a regular basis that have the potential to impact how customers interact with the company and perceive the brand.
Focusing on creating a customer centric culture rather than just on providing customer service training will help ensure that the customer is top of mind when any decision, no matter how big or small, is made.
Becoming Customer Centric Requires a Culture Shift
Your organization can achieve a culture of customer centricity by setting a clear goal, having a strategy that supports it, and ensuring a commitment from leadership to invest the necessary resources to maintain the momentum. Experiential learning is one of the many tools that can be used to create conviction and teach people the skills and competencies necessary for supporting a customer centric culture. By directly experiencing the consequences of their actions in a time-compressed setting, participants leave with the conviction that their behavior truly does matter. This knowledge carries through to the real world and influences the daily decisions that have the potential to impact the customer experience.
Businesses rely on customers in order to be successful, and the customer experience is more important now than ever. The organizations that don’t recognize this or fail to make an investment in customer centricity risk losing market share. To learn more about how your company can stay competitive in the new customer centric landscape, read our free guide, The Rise of the Customer Experience in B2B.