Focusing on the right Business Growth Strategies in 2014....

Monday 20 January 2014, 11:12AM
By Customer Experiences Ltd

Short term strategies to try and meet monthly KPIs are severely affecting the longer term performance of many businesses.

This approach according to Chris Bell New Zealand’s leading customer experience designer and coach fails to recognise that these strategies have a significant impact on business growth and profitability.

Customer loyalty is on the decline, New Zealand’s productivity is near the bottom of the OECD rankings, customer word of mouth has become more powerful than any other form of advertising driven by the internet and social media.  Due to increasing commoditisation business is finding it increasingly difficult to develop a sustainable competitive advantage.

All this according to Bell is driving an increasing focus on price with the resulting negative impact on margins and profitability.

If businesses started to capture numbers on the impact of these vital areas of business performance (customer loyalty, employee disengagement, cost of staff turnover, negative word of mouth), Bell believes there would be a much greater focus on improving these areas. This would result in the development of strategies designed to build a more holistic approach to improving business growth and profitability. 

The examples below illustrate the importance of focusing on non financial drivers for business success.

The value of customer loyalty
 50% of satisfied customers and 25% of very satisfied customers are doing business with a competitor

The value of positive word of mouth
 83% will act on a recommendation before any other form of advertising
 Loyal customers are 50% more likely to recommend than satisfied customers

The damage of negative word of mouth
 Businesses that have not met customer expectations will tell on average 8-10 other people - Colmar Brunton and many more via social media
 It takes 5 positive experiences to counter 1 poor customer experiences – Colmar Brunton

The value of capitalising on your creativity
 The most important leadership quality was “creativity” - survey by IBMs Institute of Business Value
 Higher engagement &productivity

The value of increased employee engagement
 Top trend- employee/employer relationship changing to a partnership
 Acquiring and keeping key talent a priority
 People have become the primary source of competitive advantage
 80% of market value today comes from the intangible
 You can copy products & services but you can’t copy people
 High engagement = high growth
 Less absenteeism
 Less errors/mistakes
 Higher sales goals

The savings from low staff turnover
 Separation costs
 Replacement costs
 Training costs
 Lost productivity costs

Towers Perrin published research –
 Income improved 19.2% from high engagement
 Income declined 32.7% from low engagement - over same sales period

Increased engagement = high customer satisfaction
Attracts and retains high performers

The value of a sustainable competitive advantage
 Competitors don’t have it
 Competitors don’t know how to get it
 An investment to develop it/not a cost
 Good marketing investment
 Customers do the work for you
 Continual development

For those businesses that would like to adopt a greater focus on their customer experience as a way of differentiating themselves from competitors Customer Experiences has just launched a unique free customer experience development programme

Chris Bell is managing director of Customer Experiences, a company that specialises in helping businesses improve the way in which they interact with customers and clients. –; mb 027 2792360