Being customer-centric can no longer be a company’s competitive advantage. This is especially true in Europe, where we have seen a considerable shift across organizations and their focus on the Customer Experience. In order to truly drive top-line revenue, increase profits, and gain market share, companies need to embed best-in-class CX processes and structures across their entire organization; those that do see revenue growth 9% – 14% faster than their competition.
So, what does it mean to embed best-in-class CX inside and organization? And what are the different ‘components’ which need to be considered?
There are four of them, and they are further highlighted below. You can also find more details on these items, as well as other trends that market leaders are taking advantage of to accelerate revenue growth – in our latest research report and by leveraging our dynamic revenue planning tool.
Component #1 – Customer Service is Available Digitally Across all Commercial Departments
The first area that leading customer-centric companies excel in is having world-class Customer Service. This goes beyond just the traditional idea of Customer Service, which is associated with humans in call centers addressing inquires and solving customer issues. Instead, best-in-class companies have a completely digital Customer Service model that spans across all commercial departments—technical support, general inquires, order status, billing, etc. The key factor here is digital, which means there is an increased speed and ease of which Customer Service items are addressed. Furthermore, while there are often different sub-processes and focuses on each of the commercial functions, the company’s overall Customer Service model is integrated and aligned across each. This ensures that each operation is working in lockstep to create an integrated, seamless, and efficient customer experience.
Component #2 – Documented Customer Journey With a View of Where Digital Can Reduce Friction
Many companies now have documented the end-to-end customer journey. The next evolution which leading companies are pioneering is taking that customer journey and identifying the touchpoints and/or significant interactions where digital can reduce friction. The benefit of doing this is two-fold. First, it further streamlines the customer experience in a seamless and consistent manner, with greater predictability for what a customer’s experience will be. Secondly, from a corporate lens, it’s an opportunity to create efficiencies in the business by injecting technology solutions for tasks that were previously completed manually. Best-in-class companies know exactly where to utilize digital solutions in a customer’s journey, while also knowing where a human touch is still critical to the optimal customer experience.
Component #3 – Ongoing Listening Paths are in Place
The next area where leading customer-centric companies excel is around their ability to listen to the market and the customers. These companies have ongoing listening paths in place across multiple modalities. There is a relentless focus on collecting and capturing information to better understand the customers, their objectives, their needs, and their challenges. What separates ‘good’ market listening companies from ‘great’ is what the great companies do with the information. They use the intelligence collected from the listening paths to make strategic decisions in 3 areas:
1) How to better serve the client with existing products and solutions
2) Potential areas to serve the customer that isn’t addressed today
3) New potential personas within a company for the company to serve.
Each of these three areas contributes to a better customer experience.
Component #4 – Employees Aligned on Their Role in Creating a Differentiated Experience
The last area revolves around the employee’s expectations, clarity, and understanding of their role in creating a differentiated buying experience. Best-in-class companies don’t just “use” their employees to drive a better customer experience; instead, they enable their employees with the tools and technology to play an integral role in the experience. Critically, the employees understand what they should be doing at each step of the customer experience to make it differentiated. Clarity starts at the top with executives and functional leaders defining their team’s role in a differentiated experience. And then that translates down through the rest of the organization into an employee’s day-to-day practices and operations. Ultimately, the leading companies are the ones who create both a differentiated experience via digital means AND human interaction.
Accelerating revenue does not happen by saying a company is now “customer-centric.” Rather, it takes multiple components and inputs to do so. Leading companies have these processes and practices embedded within all functions in their organizations, with CEOs leading the charge and ensuring they are being driven. Review our Q3 research report and dynamic revenue planning tool for the guidance needed to make your company more customer-centric.