The One Thing Customer Focused Businesses Never Do

Thursday 18 July 2013, 8:54AM
By Customer Experiences Ltd

At first I thought it was just one or two businesses that did it. Then I started to detect a trend and its now such a dead cert. I know when I’m working with a genuinely customer focused business because they all avoid it and those that are just talking the talk don’t.

What is it? It’s complacency.

Complacency has been the down fall of many so called customer experience leaders. This is how it generally works. A business decides that it will differentiate itself by developing a customer service experience that is much better than any of its competitors.

The result is that the business starts to gain market share, grows customer loyalty and benefits from today’s most powerful advertising word of mouth.
Competitors are struggling and scrambling to get anywhere near the level of service and resort to price as their only way they know how to try and claw back some market share.

Meanwhile the customer service star is starting to sit back and enjoy the continual stream of positive customer feedback. In fact they are starting to think that this is easy, maybe we don’t need to try so hard, and gradually the service levels start to slip back -after all, they were way above the rest. However what the business does not understand is that when you consistently deliver a high level of service, customers very quickly get over the surprise and excitement and that level of service goes from exceeding expectations to meeting expectations as customer start to except the service level as the norm.

The result is that complacency slips in, service levels slip back and very quickly customers’ expectations are not being met and they start to look elsewhere.

I had the pleasure of working with a client recently - New Zealand Fine Tours . This is an organisation that develops tailored itineraries for international visitors to New Zealand. This innovative organisation leads the market with the range of services they provide and their websites are full of amazingly positive client feedback.

However, there one thing that NZ Fine Tours is not and that’s complacent. This organisation is driven by a culture that does not just want to meet clients’ expectations. The NZ Fine Tours team understands that their business is going to grow as a result of repeat visits and client word of mouth and they are determined not to fall into the complacency trap. They do this by continually looking for ways that they can add even greater client value to their next trip.

One of the main reasons businesses become complacent is through self evaluation. We call it an inside-out focus.
This is where a business evaluates its service performance internally. The result of this approach is highlighted in some recent research by Bain & Co that showed 80 percent of businesses think they are delivering better customer experience but only 8 percent of customers agree.

Beware of the complacency trap by developing a customer experience that is an on-going journey.

Customer Experiences is an organisation specialising in the developing of high quality customer experiences. For further information – contact Chris Bell Managing Director Customer Experiences Ltd email               mb 027 2792360