Do you really Understand your Customers?Steve Dudley
As CX experts we understand the importance of being customer centric. However, we still find many business owners who are product led and believe the strength of their product is enough to thrive.
We know in a disruptive, rapidly changing marketplace that focusing on product to the detriment of customer experience can be very risky. This was recently highlighted in some customer research we did on behalf of a leading B2B manufacturer earlier in the year.
Our research showed that all their customers were universally happy with the high-end-product they were being supplied. This tallied nicely with management’s view – they have a great product and are quite rightly proud of it and that is enough.
However, when we dug deeper we also discovered that on average, these same customers expressed a 70% probability of switching to a different supplier, if a similar product of similar quality and price became available. Why? Because the end to end customer experience being offered was poor.
This poor customer loyalty was the result of a host of issues, including:
- Frustration with the length of time it took the supplier to come back to them on answers to simple questions / queries
- Onus on them to chase up issues – there was no pro-active communication from the manufacturer
- Manufacturer did not understand their business needs or wants
- Complexity of administration required to do business with the manufacture
- Lack of emotional connection – there was no personal touch (i.e. the odd random call, to see how they were, how they were getting on with recent purchases and want future needs did they foresee that they may need support with)
The bottom line is that, as customers, they did not feel valued, appreciated or understood.
This poses a real threat for the manufacturer (and indeed any business) in what is a competitive market and becoming increasingly so.
How to Find Out What Your Customers Want…
A good starting point is to ask them. Talking to customers regularly is one of the best ways to address this. Listen to them – ask them questions and analyse the feedback to see any patterns in customer behaviour.
Or more formally you can embed a Voice of your Customer programme so you can understand your customer’s needs, wishes, likes, dislikes and aspirations.
Do not assume that if your product is excellent that that is enough to keep customers. It is no longer just about the product – it is about the end-to-end Customer Experience and how you make your customer FEEL.