As the roaring 20’s of the 21st century are set to begin one thing has become clear, customer experience is key. In fact, according to the 2019 State of Service Report by Salesforce (www.salesforce.com), 80% of customers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products, and the evolution of customer experience has big impacts on business growth.
However, the responsibility of creating the best experience possible, both for current and new customers falls on more than just support teams. It requires a commitment across the entire organization. IT, marketing, sales, and even engineering all play a role in creating a one-of-a-kind experience that not only keeps customers coming back, but turns them into brand ambassadors.
In order to do this, companies must make customer experience a core part of who they are, and create a customer-first culture.
Creating a customer-first culture sounds nice, but what does it really mean? It means nothing is thought of, developed, or brought to market without looking through the lens of the customer. From product development, to marketing campaigns, to sales presentations, the perspective of the customer must be taken into consideration. No matter how great the concept or idea, if it does not resonate or fit within the customer’s mindset or priorities, it shouldn’t fit within the mindset or priorities of the organization. After all, it’s not only your customers who are the ones purchasing and using your products, they are also the ones on the front lines advocating for your brand to friends, family, and colleagues.
This starts from the top down. Putting the customer first is a mindset that must start at the top and be infused at every level through the organization. A customer-first mentality that starts with leadership and works its way throughout the team means that product roadmap decisions can be made based on customer wants and needs, marketing can create messaging that better resonates with the individuals that are using their products or services, and IT and DevOps can infuse product lines and apps with new technologies, capabilities, and functionalities without compromising the user experience.
A customer-first culture must have a full 360-degree view and understanding of who your customers are. Along with collecting the general data that exists, breaking down the silos that exist between customer support and the rest of the organization are key. Arguably no one interacts with customers more on a day-to-day basis than customer support. Being able to tap into their knowledge base gives other teams, departments, as well as the entire organization a better understanding of who their customers are, what makes them tick, and how to develop a culture that is based around their needs.
With the new year upon us, now is the time for both personal and professional resolutions. For organizations looking to create a better connection with their customers, developing a culture where the customer is front and center is key. And just like personal new year’s resolutions, change won’t happen overnight. However, if companies begin laying the foundation for a customer-first culture today, they’ll be positioning themselves to reap the rewards that come with creating a unique, personal, and extraordinary experience for their customers.
As Founder and CEO of UJET, Anand Janefalkar is focused on leading UJET into its next stage of growth by providing the tools and technology businesses need to create an immersive, engaging, and one-of-a-kind customer experience. Prior to UJET, Anand held key roles at both Motorola and Jawbone, as well as serving as a technical advisor for various startups in the Bay Area. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from Mumbai University and a Master of Science in Telecommunications from Southern Methodist University.
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