Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
“There is only one boss. The customer. He can fire everybody from the chairman on down, simply by spending money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton
Every company has to discover its own path in achieving great customer experience. While some companies have realised the power of customer experience, there are enough of them who do not feel the need to prioritise customer experience. Several articles and quotes by famous businessmen are testimony to the fact that companies not focusing on the customer experience incur loss in all respects. I present to you a few ways companies suffer when they don’t focus on customer experience:
They might continue to sell more, but will always wonder why customers are leaving
A number of companies believe in the power of discounts and rewards over customer service and experience. What they fail to understand is that, “The bitterness of low quality customer experience remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” This is the reason why they attract very volatile customers. The quality of the customers is what reflects the quality of the company and makes it a brand. It would be apt to quote Jim Rohn here
“If you make a sale, you can make a living. If you make an investment of time and good service in a customer, you make a fortune.”
Not focusing on customer experience can only give you sales but never business. Because business is built on long term relationships, not just with business partners but also with your customers.
They never know what customers truly value, and hence fail to build customer loyalty
Good customer experience begins when the customer feels valued. When they buy products from a company, they unconsciously attach stories and experiences to the product. As Gregory Yankelovich rightly says, “Customers are no longer buying products or services. They are buying experiences delivered via products and services.”
How the product is presented, packaged and the nature of the deal makes a huge difference in a customer’s mind. Different aspects of the product or service would deliver a varying degree of delight and without focusing on customer experience, companies fail to realise what their customers value the most about their product or service. Companies can understand what it takes to wow their customers only by actively scrutinising the customer experience throughout the customer’s lifecycle. And without identifying those moments, it is impossible to build customer loyalty in today’s competitive world!
They fail to build a sustainable growing organisation
“The customer isn’t the king anymore; the customer is dictator. Too much of marketing has been about coming up with clever ways to trick the customer. But increasingly customers are becoming immune to classical marketing tricks.” – Gerry McGovern
When a customer has such power in his hands to control the entire hierarchy, companies that do not pay attention to the customer experience fail to sustain as an organisation. Perhaps America Online (AOL) is a classic example of this. AOL got massively successful with its dial-up network services during the 80’s. But the growth wasn’t sustained because they completely ignored customer experience. As the number of users increase, customers started facing issues with their connection and AOL made it almost impossible for customers to reach customer support. Not just the customers, but even AOL employees were unhappy because of constant customer complaints. AOL didn’t focus on customer experience and failed as spectacularly as it had succeeded.
It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to build a strong customer centric culture and focus on delivering exceptional customer experience. Without doing so, it becomes very difficult to stop churn, build customer loyalty, and grow sustainably. I have been able to touch upon only a few drawbacks of not doing so, I would be happy to get more suggestions below!