1. MARKETPLACE IS NOT A BATTLEFIELD. BE CUSTOMER – OBSESSED, NOT COMPETITOR – OBSESSED!
In the battlefied, your victory is defined by deafeating your opponent. In the marketplace, your victory is determined by taking a place in the mind and heart of customer.
Because in this digital age, when your current competitors lose, you will have other competitors show up. That means, not because your competitor is defeated, then customer will choose you. They still have many choices, and new choices.
A while ago, mobile service companies focus on competition and fight against each other heavily, every day; they did not know that the biggest competitors who sweep away most of their revenue are Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook Messenger….
The same, traditional taxi companies are fiercely competitor obsessed, until one day they all lost to the guys named Uber and Grab, who they had never expected.
The logic of industrial competition is no longer logic. You only win in this digital age by winning the heart and the mind of your target customer.
Being customer – obsessed, not competitor – obsessed, is one of the best ways to grow in the age of customer, now.
2. SELLING IS NOT A TRANSACTION, IT IS A RELATIONSHIP
The majority of businesses view the interests of customers in conflict with theirs. They think, the more benefits customer has, the less profit they have. That perspective is dominated by the habit of looking at their business as one transaction, one deal.
Of course, if you view customer value as a transaction, the benefit of your company and the customer will fall in conflict. In that case, there is no way to put customer in the center of what you do. Your people will try to get more benefit per transaction and lead to poor customer experience consequently. Then, you may win one deal but will lose many customers. That is a very short-sighted perspective.
We need to view your business with your customer as a relationship not a transaction, or a journey not a touchpoint. Serve them then they will stay longer, buy more and refer their friends to you. Serve, don’t sell, word of mouth will take care of the rest.
3. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND LOYALTY: BUSINESS OF ALL, NOT OF A DEPARTMENT
The reason is very simple, customer journey spreads all of your departments, not only a touch point or even some touchpoints which create and contribute to their satisfaction, all touchpoints make it.
The chairman of one of my customers, in one meeting, argued with me: “I also assigned the customer loyalty index to my Customer Service Center, now you say that, applying customer experience, the key index is also customer loyalty. So there is no difference”. I turn the director of the customer service center and ask “how are you doing with you loyalty customer goal?” The Director mumbled: “There are many parts that I cannot intervene, can’t control… so it is not improving, even my department have tried our best”.
I turn to him and said: “assigning the same KPI does not mean that you are doing the same thing, customer service is not customer experience! You are giving her an indicator but there are many parts that impact the index she is not allowed to touch on. It will be the same thing like this scenario, you state: our family must become a family of hospitality, then you assign that goal to one of your children, the oldest son for example, the rest of the family members do not need to care about the hospitality issues of your family, they consider that is not their business. Will your oldest son help your family become a family of hospitality?
Of course, never!
Operating that way, the satisfaction and loyalty of customers is far from the job of this service director. Therefore, if one department has to be responsible for customer loyalty, it is your department – the executive chairman department. The chairman laughed, but agree totally.
4. HAVE A COMMON PURPOSE AND VIEW YOUR COMPANY AS YOUR CUSTOMER VIEW IT
One of my students shared: after buying a phone at a store of MWG, the largest retailer in Vietnam, the salesman opened the door for her to leave, at the same time, he saw that the security guard was taking care of another customer.
He immediately got out the store and helped her to get the moto bike, he took the moto bike down to the road, used the towel to make the saddle, which is hot by the sun, cooler, then turn the moto bike in the direction that the customer wanted and handled over to her. She really appreciated the action not only because of how they served her, but how she felt the joy of working environment. She became loyal customer of the store since then.
Taking care of customer’s moto bike is not the responsibility of a salesman; but he takes ownership of the task to make customers happy.
The reality is that, customers don’t care what your role you are in your company, they care about how the brand care for them. They don’t remember your job. What left is their emotion and your brand. No process or responsibility lines are perfect as you can’t predict and control everything happened from customers. Therefore, having a common purpose of serving customer and everyone bring it to the job they do, whatever job they hold they need to see the company as their customers do. You can be off – process as long as you are on the purpose. As CEO, you need to make your people operate that way.
5. ALIGN YOUR GOALS WITH THOSE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
Most of people know what they want, like revenue, profit, market share, or just sales. However, few people understand the key factors that significantly drive their goals. That is why people mainly act directly to pursue their numbers of their goal, such as revenue or profit.
One of smartest way is to align your goals with those of customers, and work on them.
To implement this, start with the question: “what are the key factors that your customers will buy and be loyal? “. Example, Amazon know customers like convenience and selection so Amazon’s goals is proving customer with a lot of choice and convenience. Disney knows that customer will come for happiness, then happiness become their common purpose.
The rule here is to focus on customers’ goals which lead to sales and their referrals. In other words, you help your customers reach their goals, they help you to achieve your goals as a consequence.
MARKET IS NOT WHERE YOU SELL YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICES, MARKET IS WHERE YOU HELP YOUR CUSTOMER ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS CONVENIENTLY WITH THE DESIRED EMOTION
WHICH CUSTOMER STRATEGIES ARE YOU APPLYING, ANY OF THE ABOVE?