3 ‘Customer’ questions every CEO needs to answer

Are customers really important to your organisation? Make sure your executives can answer three critical questions…

The Australian banking royal commission has placed consumers in the spotlight. We’ve heard countless stories of consumers who have lost faith in the system and the people who run it. It will take a long time to fully restore trust in the sector.

There are many learnings for the financial sector. This is also an opportunity for executives in other organisations to ask critical questions about their culture and customer interactions.

3rdView has been helping organisations to improve customer-focus and customer experience for a decade. We’ve identified three questions every CEO needs to ask:

1.     Who is our customer?

2.     What is their experience?

3.     How customer-focused are we?

1.     Who is our customer?

‘Who is our customer?’ sounds simple, but there is often more to it. Few organisations have consciously considered the full range of customers, and even fewer have made a conscious decision about which customers are most important.

3rdView define a customer as ‘Anyone whose experience matters to your organisation’. The key is to agree whose experience matters most?

For example, who is the customer of a private high school? Students who receive the learning? Parents who pay fees? Teachers? Universities? The community that receives the benefit? Governments who provide funding? All of those groups are important, but who is the most important?

If your team does not have a consistent answer to this question, it’s time to stop and have the conversation. Once you agree which perspective matters most, you can focus on ensuring your systems are aligned to deliver to this group.

2.     What is their experience?

Every customer has an experience with your organisation. Some organisations measure this using surveys or sales data. This is valuable, but assumes you’re asking the right questions, at the right time. It doesn’t give you deep insight into what is happening throughout the interaction, or how the customer feels.

3rdView helps you understand the experience from the customer perspective, and uncover what matters most. Qualitative research such as depth interviews and observation provides rich insight into what customers value, and therefore where you should invest and save.

For example, depth interviews for a regulator revealed that customers were frustrated with the volume of information they felt they had to provide, and staff were overwhelmed when they received it. In reality, only a small amount of the requested information was required. Using Human-centred Design we were able to save customers, staff, and the organisation significant time and money.

If you haven’t engaged your customers in deep, meaningful conversation recently, it’s time. When you know what’s really going on, you can fix it and reduce waste.

3.     How Customer-focused are we?

‘We place the customer at the centre of everything we do’ is the catch cry for many organisations. Saying it is simple, truly delivering it is hard. Developing a customer-centric culture within your organisation is critical for success.

3rdView have identified 12 attributes that organisations need to focus on  across strategy, leadership, employees, and customer connections. We provide objective ratings for each, based on interviews and observation, and compare them with the internal perception. In our experience, few organisations are truly customer-focused, yet most think they are.

For example, when we’re asked to rate a contact centre interaction we acknowledge good service. Customer-focused organisations have systems, processes and leadership in place to ensure the call isn’t required in the first place.

How customer-focused is your organisation? It’s time to measure it, and focus your efforts on the areas that will have the greatest impact.

 

Take the time to reflect on your customer program with your CEO. If you can’t answer these three questions, then it’s time to talk to someone who can help!

2019-02-04T02:22:48+00:00