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Customer Delight: Which Customer should you Delight?
CloudCherry | Featured | June 29, 2015
Wake Up To The Reality!
You cannot please everyone. Even the most pious and kind hearted person in the world will have to accept this. And I believe this same hard hitting reality extends into the business world, where customer relationships are built on a thin and fragile rope.
Irrespective of the level of the perfection and excellence your brand amasses, there will always exist a faction of nitpickers – a thorn for your business. No solution can be conjured in this case, but in turn, accept that every customer needn’t and can’t be delighted.
Although it sounds a little preachy, my statements aren’t just flying out unabashed without precedence. Iconic brands such as Walmart and General Electronics built on the platform of customer success and delight have faced their fair share of criticism from customers. Yet, they keep soaring, reason being they delight only those who need to be delighted.
So who exactly is that customer worth delighting? Here are some key considerations:
1. Long Term Value
Understand the long term value of any customer. Does he shop at your store on a regularly basis or once in a blue moon? At the end of the day, customers drive revenue and someone who does that relentlessly should be appreciated more.
2. Size of Business
Assess the size of business per customer. The 80/20 rule (Pareto) of sales says 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. So, it is a lot easier to focus on the 20% than devote time to 80% of customers who contribute a fraction of the revenue.
3. The Customer-Brand Relationship
Understand the relationship the customer shares with you. To help with this, your customer relationship management strategy should be well laid out and crystal clear. In case the customer is unsatisfied and complaining, is there a genuine point that your brand can improve on? It is practically impossible to deliver every customer’s varied needs and therefore empathising with him and knowing his intention in conducting business with you is central in you deciding whose needs to prioritise. Some customers aren’t satisfied regardless of all your caring and loyal treatment!
A more methodic & statistical approach undertaken to identify the right customer to delight and optimize customer relationship management is Strategic Profitability Management. It that takes a bird-eye’s approach of the entire business environment to focus on an activity based management approach – comprising of product innovation, operational excellence and customer intimacy. And although the ideal case would be an organization excelling on all these three platforms that is rarely the case realistically speaking. Organizations tend to specialise in one area or the other.
For instance, Nike is revered for its product innovation whereas Home Depot is renowned for its customer intimacy. In fact, popular brands like Nike, Home Depot have garnered the ‘popular’ tag mainly on account of their ability to identify the right customer base to connect with.
Consider the possibility of a 70-year-old taking a liking towards a fashionable sports apparel at your store. Close to zero, I bet. Now, how would a 20-year-old feel when purchasing that same nifty apparel? Not just elated and delighted, but the teenager has a higher chance of staying loyal, as his relationship with you has more substance and similarities.
The Short and Long Run in Delighting your Customers
This is where the concept of short term and long term customer value kicks in. Are you more concerned and focused on rejoicing the 70-year-old who happened to shop once at your store or the teenager, delighting whom can bring you more business through powerful word-of-mouth and social media publicity? Factoring this short-term and long-term customer profitability is a must before deciding to dive heads over heels into the space of customer delight and customer experience enhancement.
You may not have heard this piece of advice before but the best manner to deal with the many unsatisfied and rambling customers is by handling them over to your competitors. At one point or the other, they are bound to untie their allegiance with you and latch onto one of your competitors. So, handover the pain happily to your competitors.
Customer Feedback – To Delight the ‘Right’
Now that you’ve found a way to deal with the unsatisfied mob, how do you delight your more-significant customers? Customers who mean a lot to you – the ‘right’ customers. A good place to start is by gathering feedback. Feedback is a necessary routine that your brand should put in practise if they are to retain customers and improve their satisfaction scores, not to mention delighting them as well.
My praise of feedback systems won’t carry much weight if businesses do not put the feedback they gather to effective use. Feedback is all about collecting insights on a larger scale and addressing these issues. If you are recording feedback for the sake of doing it, it makes no difference to your organization as all the vital customer opinions/suggestions goes to the bin.
On the contrary, feedback should provide you the ideal platform to connect with the right group of customers and also help you taper out the forever-unsatisfied customers from your organization.
Identifying who you can and need to delight is as crucial as customer delight itself. For, it is only by delighting the right set of customers, you can grow your business in a profitable manner. Start delighting the right customer now.
Reference:Dr. V Bala Balachandran’s – ‘Creating Value to the Customer’