We all like getting something for free, especially when it is perceived to be of value.
Strange then, don’t you think, how some organisations behave with their customer feedback? Just think of the value for a moment. Whether they are highly dissatisfied or an enthusiastic advocate for your business, your customer is offering to give you free advice on what you do well, what you could improve, what they want from you and how you can outstrip the competition.
Think of your customer as giving you free consultancy on how to secure your relationships and improve your business.
The 'Customer Experience' is increasingly important and we know that in ‘The Age of the Customer’1 the competitive advantage you gain from your engagement with your customer may be your only differentiator.
Our research2 shows that only 8% of companies in our model have reached full ‘maturity’ in their customer relationships. More than 60% are ‘Establishing’ – meaning that they typically have a very basic set of customer management processes and initiatives in place, often disconnected and without a defined strategy. A portion of these organisations were still only 'Investigating' with few initiatives in place which are likely to be limited in scope and visibility. This research has been carried out exclusively in the business-to-business environment. It is a fact that those sectors that have a greater proximity to the customer in their day-to-day dealings, such as Professional Services, find it easier to be customer-centric. This brings its own challenges however as the requirement to behave as a mature organisation is greater.
We see ‘mature’ business leaders understanding the value of the insight gained from customer feedback. They support and develop the infrastructure and employee behaviours that turn that feedback into value not only for their organisation but their customers too. Simple, but that is how they effectively protect their own business, reduce risk and out-distance the competition. Would you like to know how mature your organisation is? You can find out how by completing the assessment.
This is the Age of the Customer. Feedback is a gift from your greatest asset, doing nothing with it is surely one of the biggest and most arrogant mistakes an organisation can make. But maybe you don’t want to be successful?
Reap as you sow, as they say.
1 Age of the Customer – Forrester