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customer centricity

92% say their business needs to get more closely aligned to their customer

By | Branding, customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight | No Comments

In a recent survey by Incite we can see the radical shift between consumers and brands.

Brands are reacting to a three-fold change in their relationship with their customers.

Control

1. Customers have more power than ever before.

2. Thus, their expectation as to what constitutes ‘acceptable interaction’ with your brand is changing.

3. Consumer ‘location’ is changing – you won’t find your target audience gathered around the TV on a Wednesday evening any more.

The main reasons are:

1. Voice:

The rise of social media means that consumers now have an audible voice in the conversation about your brand.

You can hear them. And so can other customers.

Your brand is no longer within your control. Without a passionate and happy set of customers, you will find it very

difficult to effectively engage and expand your customer base.

2. Choice

Customers can no longer be forced to listen to you. In the past, you knew a TV ad during ‘I Love Lucy’ got you into

the living rooms, and consciousness, of millions of potential customers.

“This change in the nature of our relationship with our customers is creating a need to become more customer aligned at all touch points.

Your customers spend increasing amounts of time online, and less time consuming ‘traditional media’. Anyone

who has been awake in 2013 will know the reasons for this – increasing uses of social media to augment/replace

real-world interaction; consumption of media via mobile devices; second-screen viewing; the ability to fast forward

through TV advertising, etc.”

86% of those surveyed by Incite have more data on their customers than they did 5 years ago but most are not leveraging this data.

“ To be successful, we know we have to behave differently with consumers, and deliver solutions that address

their problems and needs – rather than trying to push products that may or may not be relevant, as we have

done in the past.”Claire Burns, Chief Customer Officer, MetLife

Now people can fast forward through TV ads. They can block online banner ads. They can unsubscribe from emails

with one click.

So how do you get more closely aligned to your customer

1. Understand your customers: do some research, surveys and personna profiling so you know who they are and what they want.

2. Be where they are : Become agile enough to ensure you can put together a comprehensive, multichannel customer outreach strategy and play where they play.

3. Be fast: Guarantee you can talk back to customers at the speed they expect.Hymn

4. Get a clearer picture: Leverage new data sources, and desilo current data, to ensure you can build up a comprehensive image of each of your customers – and use it to deliver relevancy

5. Align all staff: To achieve the first three points, a company must become better at sharing insights internally, and reduce boundaries between departments to deliver a unified external voice.

Customer Centricity as an Ecosystem

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Employee Experience | No Comments

chart 1“Customer centricity is the ecosystem and operating model that enables a company to deliver a unique and distinctive customer experience.” Doug Leather states in his book The Customer Centric Blueprint: Building and Leading the 21st Century Organisation.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Doug this week. Like it or not, all customers are aware, vocal and they are not all the same. We are making demands on businesses and they need to respond. The business models  that use to work, are now archaic, have short term metrics, many of which don’t have a customer centric approach.

Economic Value

Transformation of companies to have a deep understanding of their customers, a holistic approach based on an Outside In” approach and ultimately delivers not a highly valued product or service but a customer experience that will build life long customers is the name of the game today.” Doug states that the DNA of your company needs to the the vision you have with your customers. Companies need to think from the outside in to develop an investment mindset to evolve the customer experience as a competitive advantage, not undifferentiated. It is all around deciding on the promise you want to make to your ideal customers and then delivering on that promise consistently.  It is around supporting your employees to deliver on that promise. It is setting up your infrastructure, training, hiring, goals and research to obsess over that promise. As Doug sates, “too many organisations still don’t mention their customers in their vision statements.”

Having absolute clarity around your customer, the experience for them and communicating this consistently, through every touch point, is critical for a business in the 21st century.

Podcast Interview with Doug

Customer Centricity has never been more important

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Employee Experience | No Comments
As part of the run up to the 2013 Incite Summit, we asked 300+ marketing and communications executives about the key issues they see impacting on their roles in 2013.Customer Centric 1
Incite uses crowd sourcing to discuss with marketing and communication executives key marketing questions.
Customer centricity is starting to become a focus because of the social channels or the conversation is coming from customers or us. We are directing the conversation and so companies have no choice but to be transparent, customer facing, responsive and empathic. I would challenge that many marketers would not have gone this route if it wasn’t apparent that they had to. On the other hand I come at it from a customer centric mindset because it resonates with my value set.
It will be interesting those companies that give it a token gesture as part of their campaigns and those who have it as part of their DNA and more importantly how customers respond.

 Ncustomer_centric_maturityote on definitions of ‘customer-centricity

One could read these results as a more cautious reading of what ‘customer-centricity’ means for a corporate audience. The ideal espoused by Bob Thompson of Customer Think is of a ‘customer-inspired’ business, which

“Thinks deeply about what customers are trying to accomplish in their business and personal lives, and create new ways to add value before they ask”

But perhaps corporate practitioners’ understanding of ‘customer-centricity’ is lower down Thompson’s “Customer-Centric Pyramid” – at the ‘Customer-Driven’ phase:

Incite shares some brilliant interviews with different marketers.

Nicki Briggs is the Chief Marketing Officer at Chobani, the US-based Greek Yogurt company. –

“To be honest, no, we didn’t. It’s naturally a part of who we are. It’s not forced, it’s what we believe. It’s how we have always been.

One of the core principles in our company stems from the notion of ‘the golden rule’ – treating our consumers the way we want to be treated ourselves if we were buying that product.

But because my team is so closely linked to the consumer – through our visual engagement team and customer loyalty team, amongst others – we make sure that everything we’re saying is consistent with our DNA. And that it’s something that consumers can really get involved in.Everything we try to create is around being authentic and transparent like that.”

What steps have you taken to achieve that aim? What have you done to make L’Oreal more customer-centric?

Marc Speichert is the Chief Marketing Officer at L’Oreal USA. 

“We’ve done a lot of work around the path to purchase. We partnered with McKinsey, to help us rethink how consumers are actually approaching, and how they think about purchasing, beauty.

That led us to move from the traditional funnel metaphor to a more circular path to purchase. In this circular model, it all starts with consideration, then moves to evaluation, to purchase, and then to advocacy. Understanding when people move from one step to another, by each category, is very important for us.

Moving forward, we then use those learnings to think differently about our Go To Market strategies as we launch products.”

Claire Burns, Chief Customer Officer at MetLife
“My role at Metlife is leading a transformation – we’re trying to transform the company from a product-centric to a customer-centric organisation. It’s a huge change remit – in terms of transforming almost everything that we do to an outside-in perspective, from what today is very much inside-out. –

To get there, we’re doing a lot around gathering customer insights, both in terms of improving our existing experiences, and in terms of helping design new experiences for customers.

We’re also fixing a whole lot about today’s experience, and we’re making more consistent experiences across multiple products, markets, channels of communications, channels of interaction.

For us, we’re trying to stand out in terms of our brand promise as enabling and emboldening consumers, and to act in their financial interests, and what we’re finding is that all of our competitors are talking about scaring people. Scaring people into buying this product because it’s something they need, and what we’re trying to say is that this is in your control –  solutions to help you secure your financial future and realise your dreams.

We’re spinning this as ‘we’re giving you the tools, you can do this’. And to do that and to be successful in delivering that promise, we absolutely need to be customer-centric. We need to be absolutely simple, intuitive, easy to work with, and be providing these kinds of tools that help people feel that confidence – and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

– See more at: http://incitemc.com

– See more at: http://incitemc.com/new-internal-models-for-marketing-and-communications/#sthash.zxSJT229.dpuf

Are your touchpoints as smart as your customers?

By | Business marketing, Content Marketing, customer centric marketing, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

We can create, review, produce, consume, entertain, work and play all with a touch of a button. The digital age is has created The Age of the Customer. We are now in the boxseat as we have the resources to make us smarter than ever before. We now have access to tools that were only available to large enterprises a few years ago and what’s more they are very affordable. We are now empowered to make decisions and choose who we want to do business with. More and more these choices are based on the sorts of experiences that businesses provide.

“Smart customers are right here, right now. We’re not talking about sometime a decade out. Right now, smart customers can “see” traffic james two miles ahead – and avoid them. They can “sniff out” delicious food being prepared 5.4 miles away – and reserve a table at that top ranked restaurant in an instant. They can “hear falsehoods in the voice of a pushy, unethical sales person and recognise the precise factual errors he has stated – and locate elsewhere exactly the price, features and delivery they require.” Smart Customers, Stupid Companies: Why Only Intelligent Companies Will thrive and How to be One.

So the tables turned, the customer has more negotiating power and choice than ever before.  What does this mean for your business? I believe it means there is no where to hide and you now need to be  truly customer centric. You need to create experiences that are as smart as your customers.

Effective touch-points of all types—human, static and interactive—move customers closer to your business. Ineffective touchpoints push customers away. As a result, touchpoint performance is critical to customer experience. To improve it, you need to understand what touchpoints exist and how well they work.

Customer Journey Mapping is a way of drawing a map of your customer journey and is used to analyse, the processes and perceptions so that it can be improved. The visualisation of every touch-point or experience helps you determine how to optimise the overall experience.

We  help you  to see customer journeys, through your customers eyes. Customer eXperience (CX) mapping starts with understanding the Touch-Points across the current end2end customer journey and standing in customers shoes.

Example : Banking

 

Importance factors

banking customer benefits

This process includes

  • Map the end2end journeys through customers eyes
  • Identify pain points and moments of truth
  • Improve the things that customers value most
  • How to measure the real customer experience
  • Capture the true costs of failing to meet customer expectations
  • Get your internal Touch-point owners fully engaged
  • Pinpoint where to focus to improve customer loyalty
  • Identify new ways to engage customers
  • Re-innovate to define your signature brand experience

 

We can support you in this process by starting with mapping an existing customer journey and then progress to define the ideal signature brand experience. To learn more about how to get started with customer journey mapping for your key customer segments  Click Here to find out more

Online Mapping tools

Great news….Customer Journey Mapping  just got even better!

TouchPoint Dashboard is the first online software of its kind and goes beyond traditional mapping techniques. Maps are sharable with remote colleagues or anyone with access to the internet. This makes co-creation much easier and dramatically speeds up the total process of mapping a customer journey for different customer segments, propositions, channels and variations in your operating model.

  • %Organise all Touch-points
  • %Capture Touch-point information in one place
  • %Share online maps
  • %Collaborate with remote colleagues
  • %Change views with one click
  • %Map end2end journeys
  • %Create a library for proposition design

Book a consultation today to discuss how we can help you use customer mapping.

Biggest impact for marketers in 2013, customer centricity

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Small Business Marketing, Value Proposition, vision | No Comments

According to a research of 300+ marketers by Incite these are the key issues impacting them in 2013.

1. Customer centricity:  This is all around getting close to the customer and understanding them better. This is all

about customers able to have a meaningful impact of business practices, strategy and goals. This is the most

significant impact on roles in 2013 across both B2B and B2C.

2. Multi-channel marketing/communications: Linked closely to the previous issue, multi-channel marketing

focuses on how to integrate multiple marketing/comms channels to ensure they work in concert for an impactful,

effective, and pervasive marketing campaign. A significant 22% picked this as top priority

3. Building unique customer experiences through more personalisation/segmentation/better consumer

Biggest impact on Marketinginsight: Striving towards providing your customers with a personalised, engaging and unique relationship with

your brand. Companies are beginning to do this through the increased segmentation made possible by social

media/big data profiling, and by the proliferation of marketing/communications channels and platforms. Evidently,

from the popularity of this option, it is a challenge that executives have not overcome completely. 10% picked this

as top priority.

customer engagement level

4. Internal Collaboration: Focusing on more efficient internal collaboration between marketing and

communications, to ensure that the company speaks with a unified voice, shares insight and responds better to

consumers.7% picked this as top priority – which is significant in itself, but more so when one considers that 24%

of Communications execs said this was priority #1, and only 5% of marketers. More on that below.Customer Centricity

The ideal espoused by Bob Thompson of Customer Think is of a ‘customer-inspired’ business, which

“Thinks deeply about what customers are trying to accomplish in their business and personal lives, and create new

ways to add value before they ask”.

Companies are asking how they can change their corporate culture to be more focused on the customer. How do we listen to our customers and how do we build delightful customer experiences?

Learn more. Take our customer centricity test.

Is your customer at the centre of your business?

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Currently I am reading a number of books on customer centricity and the latest is Outside In from the forester researchers Kerry Bodine and Harley Manning. Their research has outlined that we are not managing the customer experience very well so far and that we should really have an inside out approach to business with the customer in the centre of all our decisions. Not only is this a good strategic decision but with customers now controlling the market it might just be a matter of survival. Outside In

What I really love about their book is how they define customer experience as every interaction that a customer or potential customer has with you. From the point at which they discover

MARS

Forrester Research Outside In book

you to the moment of purchase to each touchpoint in the ongoing relationship. It is this journey that I feel is so critical to manage and the reason I have built a framework on called  Strategic Service Design

Key Take Aways from the Book:

1. Customer experience can be a real key differentiators for your business because it is hard. The experience can  go from missing (we don’t do that at all) to adhoc (we sometimes do that) to repeatable (we have a process so that mostly happens) to systematic (We have process that is an system and we follow it).

2. It is holistic and involves not just your customer facing employees but goes across every process and product of your company’s ecosystem. It requires discipline, insight and commitment. Not only do you have to find the moment of truth and disconnects, you need to fix them and that is even harder.

What's wrong

Forrester Resarch Outside In Book

3. It is made up of all those little things that the customer finds important. How do you know what they are unless you ask.

4. A customer experience is not a nice to have, your customers now have an amplified voice and vote with their feet and clicks. According to Forrester customer experience laggards have a much worse growth rate.

5. Customer Mapping is a starting point to understand what is happening and rather than finger pointing, work collaboratively for the customers journey to be better.

6, Real change, that becomes a systematic approach needs to have an important place at the CEO management table.

7. Outside In describes six disciplines of customer experience.

  • Strategy – what is your plan for customer experience. It is unique to your business and customer
  • Customer understanding – you need to understand your customers and what they are thinking and feeling.Outside in book model
  • Design – Yes you can design an experience. It is how your customers interact. This is where creativity and customer centricity is vital to getting this design just right. It has to be practical, doable and meaningful for the customer. It is hundreds of tiny little moments that can make the customer journey memorable.Customer Experience Pyramid
  • Measurement – you need to measure it to manage it. Perceptions, activity, intended behaviours. You need all three.
  • Governance – you need rules and accountability so you can see where the problem lies and fix it. It is not finger pointing but team work.
  • Culture – only if you hire the right people with the right attitude and values will a customer experience become your point of  difference. It is in those little moments and interactions when the culture will ensure that consistently the customer comes first.

To me this just makes sense. It is a natural evolution from the information age to the customer centred era. Companies will experience the fastest growth if they commit to a customer centric strategy and now Forrester have the research to prove it.

Age of the customer

 Resources
Webinar

Customer Centric Marketing

Outside In website

Ready to make your customer the centre of your business? Learn more

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