Experience and Expectation
Customer Satisfaction is determined by Experiences as seen through the lens of Expectation.
Customers have a list of expectations in regard to product, service and what (they believe) a company knows about them. These expectations determine their own satisfaction with you, as a company. In other words, “satisfaction is your customer’s experience as seen through the lens of expectations.” A solid, transformative, relationship between your organization and your customers is the linchpin in driving satisfaction, through experiences.
This discussion is not about 4 bullet points, or a new framework for customer success, not even a survey methodology. If customer satisfaction is the name of the game, it is an imperative to take a straightforward, pragmatic approach to actually structuring the organization around customer needs. If you like buzzwords, you can call it customer centricity, if not, choose a name of your own liking. An initiative such as this is where digital transformation meets operational maturity.
Aligning and Focusing Initiatives
Relationships driven by advances in digital technologies are the interaction opportunities of the future. Transformation of your enterprise is both bottom up and top down — aligning in the middle, where you engage and deliver value to customers. Companies that make customer engagement a strategic business focus, leveraging the latest practices, (supported by modern technology to do it better) will win. Companies that don’t, will miss out.
Empower Individuals Towards Value Add
Any person focused on interacting with customers must first understand what customers expect, in context. It’s time to think beyond software, because customer focus is an organizational initiative. Centricity starts and stops with the needs of your customers, and your ability to meet those needs.
It’s time to focus on the relationship between company and customer and what part each individual within the organization can play; it is no longer about managing the relationship.
Any business process, strategy, or technology that helps an organization with customer-facing initiatives must define and support repeatable and scalable processes, making menial tasks efficient. The focus of your team is now on what is most important, i.e., interacting with your customers, listening, and adding value. The path to taking your Program to the next level is about efficiency and automation of non-customer facing business processes — orchestrating the interactions of the whole organization to improve customer interactions across the entirety of the customer lifecycle.
Customer satisfaction is not necessarily about customer delight or exceeding expectations, rather thinking about the lens through which your product or service is viewed by your customer. If expectations are well understood, then experiences can be designed. Customers instinctively compare each new experience, positive or otherwise, with their previous ones and judge it accordingly. Driving digital, engaging, meaningful interaction does require a system that helps you understand your customers. Don’t get lost in the technology. However, in the digital age, proper use of technology is required. Modern systems must enable fast, seamless delivery of data, information, and insight focused on the needs of the user — in the context of your relationship with your customers.