In this guest post, The Works CX lead Mike Jones (pictured below) says brands need to move away from customer centricity to customer obsession…
Often, well-intended companies proudly proclaim how customer-centric they are, saying things such as ‘We make the customer the centre of everything we do’. And this would appear to make sense because without customers, how would businesses or organisations exist?
However, while defining what it means to be customer-centric can spark debate, most agree it’s about providing products and services to give customers what they need.
But only delivering what customers need is no longer enough. What organisations need to commit to is delivering to customers what they want, even before they may know they want it.
Look at the difference between how eBay and Amazon go about servicing their customers.
Customer-centric eBay does a good job of delivering on the customer need of a shopping experience which offers good pricing, on a broad range of products, and provides a marketplace for sellers. If you asked customers what they needed, this wouldn’t sound too far from what they might say.
Customer-obsessed Amazon (their retail business) provides everything eBay does but focuses on what customers want. Rapid dispatch of products, check. A flat annual fee for free shipping, done. How about a single-press button or a voice assistant to order products, no worries. Then the add-ons like a music service, groceries, ebooks and audiobooks, and a competitive video streaming service included in the flat-fee shipping and you have something quite special. A company delivering customer wants that they may not have known they wanted.
And there are other examples where this is true. Samsung vs Apple; Pizza Hut vs Dominos; and a more local comparison, Captain Snooze vs Koala.
While in all these categories the products and services and largely commoditised, their differentiation is coming from the experience they can consistently provide their customers. That shift from customer-centricity to customer-obsession may feel like splitting hairs, but the experience enjoyed by customers is significant and instantly valued.
Customer-obsessed organisations move faster responding almost in real-time to what a customer wants. There is also a different cultural approach in organisations that are committed to customer-obsession. It becomes everyone’s responsibility to deliver for customers including adding it to job descriptions and KPIs. It becomes a part of the DNA of everything these customer-obsessed champions do and every decision they make.
The evolution of CX needs to be an always-on program.
Being a customer-obsessed business means pursuing a goal that 100 per cent of your customers and prospects will be delighted with the experience you provide them. However, there’s no sugarcoating that fact that if an organisation has more than one customer, which most do, it’s unlikely utopia will ever be reached. And in a way, that is the point.
Commitment to customer-obsession is the pursuit of a goal in the hope of getting close to the ideal, that is still likely fall short. But if businesses are continually trying to deliver on their customer wants all of the time, it’s far more likely they will deliver a greater experience for more of their customers than not.
With 89 per cent of companies recognising that customer experience is a key differentiator, the experience they create has become the new battleground. CX leaders see significantly greater annual growth over the CX laggards. And customers who have a great customer experience are significantly more likely to return and buy again.
Organisations need to commit to is the perpetual challenge of satisfying all of their customers, all of the time. And to do that a customer-obsessed culture is needed that is led from the top down.
Sustainable soap brand Single Use Ain’t Sexy has been greeted with a huge influx of support after raising over half a million dollars in funding via a crowdfunding campaign. The brand has launched itself into the ‘green economy’ by calling on the Australian public to financially back them and their mission to get Aussies to […]
Queer Artist Ryan James Caruthers has publically slammed software company Unfold after it asked to use the artist’s work for free as part of its Pride Month social media campaign. Caruthers took to Instagram to show screenshots of the conversation he had with Unfold after it asked the artist to share 12 of his images […]
After relaunching in September last year, TWOOBS has become a ‘kinda’ shoe brand by also focusing on making the world a ‘kinder’ place and creating more consumer-conscious shopping. The vegan shoe brand founded by sisters Jess and Stef Dadon changed its marketing approach last year and stopped using social media to push sales the old-fashioned […]
Highly experienced tourism marketer Kelly Ryan has been appointed to lead the marketing efforts at Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC). During the past 12 years, Ryan has supported Canberra’s tourism industry in senior marketing roles, including as director of strategy and insights as well as director of marketing at VisitCanberra. Most recently, Ryan has been working […]
GHO Sydney has developed a new educational platform for Family Planning NSW to help parents and carers of children with disabilities navigate the changes to their bodies, emotions and social interactions. The project, ‘Planet Puberty’, was made possible through funding from the federal government’s Department of Social Services, and was co-designed with people with disability […]
JCDecaux today announced conservation organisation, Bush Heritage Australia, as its major charity partner for 2021. The partnership is part of a series of ‘social impact’ initiatives the business is launching this year, under the banner of JCDecauxHEART. JCDecauxHEART focuses on three areas of social impact: health and mental health, environmental sustainability, and enriching urban communities. […]
Shameless Media’s Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald’s latest podcast, The Books That Changed My Life, will launch exclusively on LiSTNR on Tuesday, 15 June. Throughout the series Michelle and Zara will talk with guests including Kevin Kwan, Laura Henshaw, Jock Zonfrillo, Susan Carland, Hamish Blake and Delta Goodrem about the books that have had a profound impact […]
In celebration of Pride Month, cult streetwear brand Champion has announced an Australia-and New Zealand-first Pride range, Champions of Pride, and ongoing partnership with the Queer Sporting Alliance. Championing a cause, celebrating community, and aiming to create real change, the capsule collection proudly heroes the Pride colours in a selection of signature Champion tees, iconic […]
Following the successful deployment of BankiFi’s technology platform at The Co-operative Bank in the UK, BankiFi has appointed Lloyd Parata to lead their expansion into the Australian Financial Services market. BankiFi’s technology platform ensures banks remain relevant by offering SMEs an innovative solution to operate their business, whilst avoiding common challenges like late payment. Parata, […]
Mars Wrigley 5 Gum has partnered with Twitch to launch Team CLUTCH, a team of Twitch streamers who will assemble on for three live squad streams tackling popular games like Fortnite while embodying the brand’s ethos of ‘life happens in 5’. This partnership builds on 5 Gum’s 2020 Twitch activation, and is set to create […]