- Posted by careers 07 May
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You know how when you meet someone you like (from a distance) for the first time and we get our game on in trying to impress the person, we initially put our ‘best face forward’, boosting our good sides and almost forgetting to mention our bad / not so cute sides? Well that is called human nature and It applies to everything that we do, from meeting our future partners for the first time to meeting a client for the first time, the persona is a mask we wear to project our best self-image.
Over time after several meetings and ‘hangouts’ the mask begins to wear off gradually, and if the person does not like what they see the relationship ends and a lot of us can relate to this in our personal lives and from a business perspective. Business customers (just like personal relationships) can leave or end, if after days, months, weeks, or years into the relationship they no longer like the ‘changed’ or ‘bad experience’.
Many years ago, we had a major airline as our preferred airline and most of us used them for local and international trips, I had to make an am flight to Abuja to return with the pm flight on the same day and to cut the long story short, I had to stay in Abuja for an extra day and purchase another airlines ticket to return to work and that’s definitely the last time I’d use that airline.
With this, we begin to see the importance of focusing on the entire relationship not just from the very beginning but though to its natural conclusion; and that’s why having a complete customer experience strategy must include keeping the customer, enhancing the customer experience as much as it is about increasing frequency and relationship value.
Customer journeys are like relationships – if the relationship is great, you keep the customer for longer and if it goes bad, the customer leaves and starts looking for another more fulfilling relationship.
A lot of people that think loyalty programs are quick fixes to customer retention, acquisition and frequency issues; whilst there is an element of truth in this, experienced practitioners & industry leaders will also tell you agree that nursing a relationship usually takes time and though it might be expensive to start and maintain before it becomes profitable; it pays off in the end and that’s why companies think in terms of ‘customer lifetime value’ (CLV) which is the incremental revenue derived throughout the time the customer stays a customer. A focus on CLV changes the equation from should we bear this cost on our customers TO should we make this investment to keep & grow our customers. The mentality is very different.
My office is on marina and I always have my lunch ordered and picked at the same time every day of the week and that’s the same for everyone in my office and it’s been that way for years, the day the person in charge of our account left the restaurant, that was the day our meals didn’t come and the most shocking is, It’s still not come – 3 months and counting.
It is important for businesses to focus more on the entire experience of the customer rather that the current sale, as the customer often journeys through several departments and individuals within the company and poor alignment of people, processes, technology and experiences creates gaps between the persona and the true self – if a customer doesn’t like what they experience, they get up and go.
To properly align the processes that support customer experience, a company must map its critical customer journeys, the series of touch points customers interact with to solve a problem or satisfy a need. There are plenty of resources now available to help map these journeys. If you haven’t yet mapped yours, I suggest you do so.
Please feel free to reach me directly should you have any questions or comments on any of our newsletters or if you simply need a second opinion.
Have a great weekend