I read recently that the Customer Experience is what your customers deserve.
What are you giving them? You should really reach out to them and find out. You would like to, but it’s just not in the budget right now, right? Well, then, you should wait. I’m sure the customer won’t go anywhere while we wait for the economy to turn around. In fact, it has been so easy recently to bring in new customers that this whole concept of making sure that we are looking after our existing customers is probably just overrated hype. We can always replace them with new ones.
OK, I’m sure you felt the sarcasm in the scenario above. It was not meant as a rant, but more as a simple translation of what some organizations are trying to say in a far more politically correct manor. Don’t you think it really sounds odd when translated?
The thought of cutting back on the one thing that can help your organization persevere through difficult times is baffling to me. Product development is not going to stop the bleeding – especially if they are not able to learn from their customers which problems need solved. Finance is not going to solve the problem by slashing budgets – that will just drag out the inevitable if left unaddressed. Business development is not going to solve the problem – how hard is it to maintain or grow, if for every new customer you have walking through the door, you have one or more existing customers walking out another door or decreasing the amount of business they are doing with you?
Therein lies the problem, and it is your responsibility to be part of the solution! Yes, YOU! You already know those companies that align the voice of their own customers with their key growth objectives have a far better track record, through good times and bad. Just look at your competition, it should be obvious to you which of your competitors are not using this proven business method within their own walls. While your business development team is sharing your value prop with the world of prospects and out trying to exploit your competitor’s weaknesses while refining their competitive differentiators, you should be making sure that the customer intelligence and actionable data is being compiled and there are strategies being developed to maintain and grow your EXISTING clients! The best way to do this is by continually challenging yourself and your program to be best-in-class. Not just best-in-class by definition, but best-in-class as in “getting results.” The rewards for this discipline will deliver a return on investment that far outweighs whatever risks would be involved.
There is an elephant in the room and he’s looking at you!
Prioritize and execute – it’s up to you.