A customer intelligent company designs its operations around the customer. Each interaction, from a quick viewing of the website to a service department call, is engineered to meet and exceed the customer's needs. By following this pattern and ensuring that all parts of your business are working toward the same goal, you can create a compelling experience and build lasting loyalty.
To be a customer intelligent company, you must have insight into your customers' needs and preferences. Do not rely solely on intuition or assumptions. Instead, gather data that can help you understand your target audience. Survey your existing customers, either in person or anonymously, and ask pointed questions that get to the heart of their experience. Learn about the problem that your products and services solve, and find out how customers are affected when your company fails to deliver.
Start at the Bottom
The process of becoming a customer intelligent company begins long before the service department gets involved — it must be the foundation of all operations. Use your customer intelligence data to refocus business policies, budget allocation and employee responsibilities. If you maintain a brick-and-mortar space that welcomes clients, the room should be designed to promote a comfortable, efficient experience. In doing so, you can target customer needs from the beginning, which can result in fewer problems and service calls down the line.
Your brand communicates your company's foundational beliefs, and inform every part of the business, from in-person conversations to marketing copy. When one or more branding elements are at odds with a customer-focused experience, the tension can cause confusion and miscommunication. If your company has luxury-focused branding but cost-efficient internal goals, for example, it's difficult to make cohesive business decisions. To see how your company stacks up, compare your brand promise to your goals as a customer intelligent company. For best results, both should be aligned and designed to achieve the same goals.
Great policies are useless if employees don't have the education and empowerment they need to create action. Once you have aligned your operations with customer needs, take the time to train your employees. Explain each customer insight, and communicate the end goal of each process. Keep in mind that a customer intelligent company allows some flexibility — as part of training, let your employees know where they are empowered to exercise their own judgement to create a better customer experience. A great training program instills enthusiasm and ensures that everyone is working toward the same goal.
A customer intelligent company is a force to be reckoned with in any industry. When you alter your business policies and procedures to focus on the customer, it's easier to build a loyal following and ensure your company's longevity during tough times.
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