Why customer focus will change your business for good

The main goals of any business are to increase revenue and reduce costs in order to be more profitable. Kerry Bodine and Harley Manning have explained how companies can achieve both goals by improving the customer experience in their book “Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business”.

The book shows, through more than 80 case studies, how companies that take an outside-in approach are able to transform their organisations in a way that is going to be mutually beneficial for the business and customers. Find an example below:

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By focusing on delivering a great experience to their customers, Fidelity Investment not only reduced costs but increased customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and referrals.

I have followed Kerry for many years, and I really like her straightforward style to explain the importance of customer centricity. See an example in this video .

The key points to remember from this video are:

  • Many companies make decisions based on an inside-out approach, considering their views, constraints and goals. They fail to understand what it is like to do business with them, as a customer.

  • Customer perceptions directly correlate with loyalty metrics. The better the customer experience, the more customers are going to buy from you again. These customers will recommend you and they are unlikely to take their business elsewhere.

  • By analysing the loyalty metrics it is easy to understand the benefit of improving the customer experience. Many case studies show that for some companies, this could represent significant revenues per year.

  • A customer centred approach uses design research to understand user behaviour, attitudes, goals and emotions, to find out not only WHAT customers are doing but WHY they are doing it. This will enable companies to design experiences from the outside-in, to meet customer needs and deliver more value to the business.

When improving the customer experience my approach is to make it easier for customers to do business with the company, while taking into account business goals. This approach requires an analysis of the main customer journeys to identify key pain points, these are dealt with in subprojects with clearly defined and measurable outcomes. In this way the main stakeholders will understand the business value and at the same time it will solve an issue that generates frustration for their customers. It is a win-win approach that makes the business happy and improves customer satisfaction.

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