Seventhman Blog

  1. What Does Customer Centricity Really Mean to Your Business?

    "customer centricity"It was my first time participating in #LeadershipChat last March 13th, where I had the pleasure of learning from @BobBurg and other brilliant folks there.  The topic of customer centricity made me want to dig deeper in the agenda of creating a positive customer experience at point-of-sale and post-sale transactions.  Is it all  about adding value to your company… by being a go-giver in this go-karma economy?  Last time, I’ve pondered on the subject of going beyond customer satisfaction surveys and now, let’s break into the reality of implementing your customer strategy by taking a risk to do something that have eluded many businesses for years.

    Commodity Hell: The Challenges in Today’s Marketplace

    Why is it hard for many CEO’s to answer a simple question, if their business is customer-centric?  Yes, plenty of organizations do have a customer service department, but it’s more like a ‘set it and forget it’ scenario where business-to-consumer relationship runs on shallow waters ( murky as well ).  Organizations sent out plenty of surveys to get useful data for them to analyze and learn from it, but most often, it doesn’t reveal anything vital about their customers.  It’s a no-brainer that knowledge of your customers means more revenues and still, more evidence is seen each day on how lack of collaboration and siloed information in your internal departments may be the very barrier to achieving a customer-centric brand.  Is it lack of resources to implement a well-rounded program.. or, is it fear of failure?  What’s stopping you?

    Looking Through the Lens: An Outside-In Approach

    Every CEO knows in his/her heart that running a customer-centric business is the key to its success.  The reason that we’re all consumers make up for the validity of this thinking and yet, there seems to be a gap somewhere.  Instead of looking at your business from the inside, try walking in the shoes of your customers and see your brand through their eyes.  In that way, you will understand what real problems they face and how you can come up with the best solutions to help them.  Sometimes, you can’t stop wondering if it’s psychological.. that many executives play it safe by continuing to impose systems that didn’t work, that doesn’t work even now.  Are we making excuses?  In simple words, it’s just doing what you say you will do and as such, bringing value your brand promises and delivering it constantly to your customers.

    When Customer Centricity Means Sustainability

    You know that as new technologies rise, the communication barrier between your business and your customers will cease to exist.  So, what does it really take to make that transition?  In this competitive age, having a consumer-centric business is not a goal; it’s a must – if you want to survive longer.  Creating a culture that puts your customers at the core of every business decision-making can be challenging as you can’t please everybody.  Still, having a holistic approach is the key and by training your employees with the right tools to solve your customers’ issues, and by motivating your team with appreciation of their efforts, you CAN start a domino effect that will build a solid rock for your business to stand on.

    The days of fooling customers to earn profit is over.  They are smarter now.  Are you ready to get real and face this reality?

  2. Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    "customer satisfaction survey"‘Ask and you shall receive’ is a popular adage that many businesses might have failed to channel.  Sometimes, when you’re not sure where your market is heading, all you have to do is ask your customers about it.  A few spontaneous questions can lead to valuable insights on how you can understand your customers so you can quantify what’s useful and what’s not.  This is where the art of customer satisfaction survey comes in.  But, can it really predict your business success?

    Measuring Customers’ Perceptions is the Key

    For your customer satisfaction survey program to be effective, you must focus on measuring your customers’ perceptions.  It’s a no-brainer that customer satisfaction is directly proportional to brand loyalty and understanding your customers’ sentiment may be a bit tricky in the beginning.  When done correctly, you can monitor your relationship with them, so you can improve overall customer experience with your brand.  This is why it is absolutely important that your survey reflects what your respondents really care about.

    Dispelling the Customer Survey Satisfaction Myths

    Take note that a traditional survey can work for.. or against you, and it doesn’t have to do with innovation at all. Unlike popular beliefs, getting the feedback of your customers is not a luxury metric for large businesses.  You don’t have to shell out big bucks and spend lots of time in conducting a large-scale research, thanks to online tools these days.  Another fallacy of these types of surveys is that the more questions you ask, the more info you’ll get.  It will depend on the quality of your questions, no matter how short your survey is.  When you ask it right, you can actually produce not just a report; but using the data to come up with results, like making fixes to your products or service offering.  Still, just because you’ve asked doesn’t mean answers will come pouring.  This is why it is important not just to ask, but to give your customers a true means of sharing their feedback.

    Going Beyond the Usual

    If you’re looking for new ways of doing business so you can stay ahead of the game, you have to go beyond the traditional survey setup and simply deliver on your brand promise.  Besides, no two customers are alike and their behavior can be misinterpreted if you focus on feedback alone.  Customers may not always tell you when they’re happy about your brand but when they’re not, you need to keep your eyes and ears open.  And with the amount of information available to everyone these days, one bad word about your brand is like a nuke exploding on the Web.  Satisfaction may not mean loyalty at all and building a lasting connection with your customers is what makes a whole lot of difference.

    The only question now is: Will fixing the problem lead to a satisfied customer?