Walt Disney once said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart said, “There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s, said, “There is a spiritual aspect to our lives. When we give, we receive. When a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about [the business]!”
These three business founders had no problem putting the customer first, yet many organizations get so busy with themselves that they appear to the average customer to be egocentric, productcentric, and companycentric, but not customercentric. The sad truth is that as companies become more successful, they sabotage their own success by ignoring their customers.
The big idea: Creating better customer experiences leads to far better business results.
Lior Arussy, the author of Customer Experience Strategy: The Complete Guide from Innovation to Execution (Amazon), explains in his book that companies that are able to deliver an emotionally satisfying experience across all customer touch points will enjoy distinct benefits:
- Premium price
- Longer relationships with existing customers
- Higher customer loyalty
- More customer referrals
- Increase in lifetime customer value
The Positive Customer-Experience Circle
Zig Ziglar once said that logic makes people think, and emotions make people act. A positive customer experience creates positive memories, which cause people to share positive stories, which spread through their social connections, therefore enhancing the company’s brand value and leading to new purchases.
Fred Reichheld, partner at Bain & Company, is the author of The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth. (Amazon)
Reichheld explains that customer satisfaction is best measured by one simple yet powerful question:"Would you recommend this business to a friend?" This question led Reichheld to the discovery of the Net Promoter Score, which is explained in detail on this Website.
Harvard Business Press writes about Reichheld’s book: "In industry after industry, this Net Promoter Score is the single most reliable indicator of a company’s ability to grow. Based on extensive research, The Ultimate Question shows how companies can rigorously measure Net Promoter statistics, help managers improve them, and create communities of passionate advocates that stimulate innovation. "
In this four-minute interview for the online show "Meet the Boss" (see below), Fred Reichheld explains the ultimate question. The second part of this video features Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, who explains how his company has integrated social media to enhance the customer experience.
What’s the value of improving the customer experience?
Study after study conducted within the last two years show that shifting from a companycentric model to a customercentric organization pays handsome dividends. The best part: This is a move that your competition cannot easily duplicate.
A recent study by Accenture of more than 4,100 companies around the world found that 67 percent were moving their business as a result of having received poor service.
An Accenture study of 16 retail banks conducted in October of 2007 found that converting customers from a low to medium level of loyalty and from a medium to high loyalty can yield a 20 percent increase in profitability per customer. For some banks in the survey, this translated to $6 billion in incremental profit.
According to Bain & Company, an increase of customer loyalty by 1 percent represents a cost reduction of 10 percent.
The Strativity Group found that 70 percent of consumers indicated that if businesses exceeded their expectations, they’d be willing to increase their spending by 10 percent or more.
Research conducted by the Strativity Group in 2009 found that high Net Promoter scores translated to significantly longer customer relationships.
Tune in tomorrow for part two: Six action steps for moving forward.