Customer experience benefits can be too much of an ideal. At a high-level, who wouldn’t want loyal customers that say good things about your business? With limited time, money and resources, how do you focus on what will drive a real difference?
Rogan Hounsell-Roberts was a founder of a successful scale-up; has helped organisations across many sectors achieve success; is a founder of KR5 Consulting; and has a passion for helping ambitious business owners scale-up and exit.
I suspect that we all want to improve the experience for our customers. If we’re looking at the way we do things, and thinking about better systems, we know that comes at a cost. So, what are the drivers and benefits that can help us decide where to invest.
This is the second in a three-part series. In part one we covered “Why customer experience matters for scale-up design” and how the big picture helps us improve our service. Part-two “Customer experience benefits that drive change” looks at why you’d want to spend money on changing the way you work. Finally, in part-three “Customer experience technology is a game changer” looks at how tech is changing the way we think.
We’re all special
No two businesses are the same. Each has unique strengths, passions, creativity and culture. Good businesses will focus on an approach that will help them be successful. That might mean that they always create a better product and outdo their earlier version. Perhaps it’s more about deeply understanding a customer or market need. A business can choose from a number of different ways of working. They might choose to be the fastest, cheapest or best quality. Each decision shapes what’s important to the business; what the business wants to be really good at.
What’s important to customers
How the business approaches its market matters to customers. If a customer wants a product or service at the lowest cost, they will choose that brand. If a customer wants the highest quality, they will choose a different brand. Therefore, improving customer experience is in the context of what a business is offering. At the extreme, they’d be no point offering silver service in a fast food burger outlet!
Stop the bleeding
If customer experience is so bad, you’re losing customers, then you need to stop the bleeding. See “How Business systems help your Brand”. In this case, the benefit is more sales. However, it’s not usually that obvious. Then we need to get back to what makes the business special. In any business you have to decide what makes you competitive. Everything else is either important to support what you’re doing or business necessity. This gives you a lens to determine what needs to be exceptional or what needs to be on par with the competition. See “What are business systems, and why should you care?”.
Once you’ve worked out what’s uniquely valuable, then you can get to work on creating the best customer experience. For example, take the fast food burger outlet. Customers want great tasting burgers delivered efficiently. In 1952 Ray Kroc observed a hamburger stand working like a Swiss watch. Ray asked Mac and Jim MacDonald if he could franchise their method. The rest, as they say, is history. More on this in “The E Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber.
That doesn’t mean that every business needs to become the equivalent of a fast food outlet. Far from it. The point is that it’s about knowing what makes you special and doing it better. It’s about becoming excellent at delivering customer value. Customer experience is part of the value you deliver. Having the best product is not a guarantee of success. That’s one aspect of success, not the whole picture. If you have a great product and frustrated customers, then it’s likely to be damaging. Customers will choose a competitor.
Two birds with one stone
Often you don’t need to focus on a single change. You can choose a project that has more than one gain. For example, introducing a system that improves output can have many benefits. This type of project could improve speed, accuracy, as well as a customer experience benefit. Better systems might make staff feel less stressed and more engaged; staff might have more time to increase value. See “Increase Productivity & Great Customer Experience”.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Improving customer experience is not a single project. As your business, markets and customer expectations change – you’ll want to get in front of it. In the long run you’ll gain more customer experience benefits through a foundation you can build on. That foundation is about understanding what makes you and your brand special, it’s also about your systems. In practice that’s about developing a more complete model of your business and creating plans to move forward.
KR5 Consulting is a business technology consultancy with a passion to help ambitious business owners. We provide a unique approach to business technology to help you scale-up and exit. Our approach delivers high-level views for the board, along with incremental and practical implementation. Our work starts by understanding the business direction and needs so we can work together to create a plan. We create a map of the current and future systems to create a clear overview and monitor progress. Our purpose is to help you accelerate, increase profits, scale-up, acquire customers and beat the competition. We do the heavy lifting so that senior leaders can focus their time on building a successful business.
If you’d like to explore the ideas in this article further or need help and advice, please contact Rogan at email@example.com – to arrange an informal chat.
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