This is the age of the customer. The customer has the power and you have to embrace this idea to stay competitive. More companies have begun to move in the direction of a customer-centric strategy. Those that are unable to deliver such a high level of experience to clients will be sidestepped by businesses driven by loyalty and product adaptation.
Now, what we are experiencing is a market ruled by customers who want special attention. Put your clients first and then think about delivering products. It’ll pay off!
The IT master Steve Jobs spoke about the importance of customer experience about 20 years ago. He said that IT companies should start with proper customer experience and then work towards delivering qualitative technology:
Challenges of moving towards the customer-obsessed culture
1. Don’t focus on too many touchpoints
At first, it can be difficult to apply a customer-focused approach. One mistake you can make is to focus on several touch-points in your customer experience. Do not narrow your efforts because then your attempts to solve a bigger business issue will fail.
Always think how small touch-points fit into the big picture (of your business and strategy). Try to impress and satisfy your client in as small a number of interactions as possible. Think about quality, not the quantity of the service. IT customers value their time more than anybody.
2. Don’t confuse service with being a servant
The sad fact is that a lot of CTOs and CIOs fail to understand the whole concept of client centricity. Some of them even treat that kind of approach as servility (what a mistake!). It is important to understand that putting the client first opens up the floor for debating, disagreeing, solving problems and locating moot points better.
Knowing and understanding your customer lies in the essence of building great company culture. It helps IT to be able to deliver a service before the client asks for it.
Read more about building a company culture abroad in the article “How to build a great company culture remotely”
3. Know your customer’s motivation
Remember that you created your IT team to help people and answer their IT needs. Every business operation occurs with the customer in mind.
To be successful and fulfill your business goal, teach your devs that they have to start understanding what the client is doing and WHY. These answers will help you to tailor an experience that will create a strong (and maybe even long-term) relationship with a client.
How do you deal with a client to deliver a valuable experience?
As we wrote before in the post about data-driven company culture, data is KING. You have to learn to collect it, read it and analyze it. Data brings important insights for making business decisions. But…it isn’t everything. One more vital element of your success is customer-obsessed culture.
The fact is that you cannot just close the door in your conference room and collect data of your customers. You should constantly analyze how new approaches, ideas, and initiatives work! Apart from collecting data, collect experiences and client opinions as well.
Anticipate your customer needs
Find a way to give your customer what they would like to get from you for free. Some prefer anniversary discounts, birthday wishes with a special code, personalized recommendations, etc. Try to match it up with what the customer does. Again, everything behind this process answers the question WHY a customer behaves in a certain way and start interacting!
Use insights and data to specify every detail of your customer’s preferences, behavior, expectations, and even interests. Even the information about what communication channel a person likes is valuable because the way you begin the conversation is crucial.
Does your client follow trends? Maybe they’re waiting for something fresh from your company and brand perhaps? Don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit – at least you’ll get an opinion (more data, right?).
Example of a customer-obsessed campaign from 2018
At this social media management app, the experience is…social friendly! Even their support team is called the “happiness team”. They are constantly in contact with their clients. In their fresh approach, the customer is in the center of the company’s operations. Employees seem to be happy and engaged in the process of serving their clients and creating a very pleasant experience overall.
What Buffer does in their customer-centric approach:
- quick responsiveness
- personalized communication
- listening to their customers and helping them solve problems
In this difficult IT environment with a customer-obsessed attitude, every IT company’s philosophy and strategy must put the client first. If you want your team to meet the newest trends in customer service, pay attention to the touchpoints with your clients and, at the same time, respect the company’s culture.
Try to keep a balance between deep technical understanding and reaching business strategy within an IT project to satisfy your clients and help them understand complex processes.
Remember that it is easier to earn trust and credibility than to rebuild it!
Your client’s experience with the people in your company has to be positively unexpected and professionally unique. Make improvements together with the engagement of every person in the company to deliver cohesive communication and reach the same goals when it comes to customer experience!