One of the myths is that meeting customer expectations or providing a better customer experience means spending lots of money. In a lot of situations it costs very little or even nothing to make a difference. It’s not unusual for me to make three or four recommendations to a client that have a high positive impact on customers at zero cost them. This is not a difficult thing for an external consultant to achieve in most companies. It simply requires the experience of being able to think from a customers point of view. The challenge is identifying what’s important to customers and thinking open mindedly about how things can be changed to meet those needs.
I start from a position that customers expectations are never unrealistic. We may think they are but with the odd exceptions customer are reasonable and believe that their expectations are realistic, in their terms. The challenge for companies is to understand the specific expectations of their customers and ensure that, where it makes business sense, those needs are met.
Improve customer experience – improve retention
The major point that many companies miss is that improved customer experience is directly linked to improved customer retention. We’ve seen many different surveys stating that 50% – 70% of customers leave as a result of how they have been treated by a supplier or their staff. My own experiences has confirmed this on several projects. Simply reducing customer loses by a small percentage can make a big difference to the revenues and profitability of the business. Improving customer experience and meeting customers expectations while at the same time growing revenues is often achievable without spending large amounts of money.