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It’s 2020, Learn from Your Customer

Your customer has all the answers. The art, however, lies in being able to gather those insights efficiently and act on them effectively. 

Why getting it right matters

Sustain growth. If you care about your customer and meet their needs, you won’t need to worry about the competition. 

Save resources. According to research by Vonage, an estimated $62 billion is lost by U.S. businesses each year following bad customer experiences. By understanding your customer and their customer journey, you can optimize your business to provide the best customer experience.

Via Paco.com

 

Build your ability to pivot. If you know your customer inside and out, you will know how to meet their deepest needs even when situations change. For example, Netflix recognized that pre-COVID consumers liked to stream shows and have communal viewings. During COVID, Netflix developed Netflix Party as a way for people to be able to continue to do this despite social distancing.

What to learn from your customer

Learn everything you possibly can (then ask WHY). Learn about their behavior, psychology, likes-dislikes, needs-wants, what they love-hate, what they are trying to achieve and more. Above all, learn the why behind all of those behaviors and feelings.

Via Hyken.com

How to learn from your customer

A mindset change requires breaking down past barriers and starting new habits.

Listen with empathy and objectivity. It’s imperative that companies listen with empathy, not judgement. Learning from customers is best when companies are curious and open to learn, not seeking to justify.

Break corporate barriers and stop working in silos. Empower everyone in your organization to be obsessed with understanding your customer. Not just the frontline of sales and marketing. 

Form new habits to support a culture of curiosity. Insert the customers’ voice in decisions and continue to gather customer insight from objective surveys, interviews, and co-creation. Use Strategyzer’s customer insight cards to capture what you discover.

Want to learn more about the art of learning from your customers? Here is our Live session recorded. 

To Focus on Growth, Focus on Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) is more than a buzzword: it is a decision to understand your customer, place their needs at the center of your business and use the insights it creates to drive growth. With more data, tools, methods and sources than ever before to accomplish this, it can be both easier and more overwhelming at the same time.

We see the opportunity to get to know the customer, a chance to build meaningful relationships and test hypotheses. This practice is at the center of everything we do.

CX is becoming an essential component if you wish to gain and retain customers, and those who do not employ it would miss out on major opportunities to improve the efficiency of their onboarding process and the lifetime value of their customers. In 2017 businesses lost $75 billions to competitors due to poor customer experience only in the US. If you are not fully convinced, here are some numbers that shows the importance of CX:

While 80% of businesses believe that they will compete mainly based on CX, according to Forrester, only 31% of businesses are experience-driven. That means an opportunity for your company to allocate resources on a category that’s proven to perform, and will give you a competitive advantage.

Benefits of a CX approach

The benefits of a CX approach are beyond just financial. They align the company and its leadership helping to strengthen product market fit, and enable companies to build understanding between marketing, product and leadership teams in the company. The CX approach can be applied company wide; it can also apply to particular initiatives, such as developing and executing content strategy and conducting meaningful research that informs new product development.

Where to Start 

Start by building data-rich personas that clarify who your customer is, their motivations, needs and wants. Next, develop journeys to visualize how they progress. Remember the journey isn’t just a snapshot of how they use your products and services, but also an artifact that captures what your customers are trying to accomplish in their lives to satisfy their pains, gains and jobs. There are many choices for how to do this well and a few things matter: That the assumptions are based on data, and that the team is aligned on how to use personas and journeys to drive meaningful outcomes for the business.

This approach is useful for your entire customer journey, and small improvements can have a big impact. In fact, only a 5% improvement in customer retention will have a major impact of between 25 to 95% increase in profit growth.

In all cases, good CX starts and ends with customer understanding.

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Source: Hotjar (https://www.hotjar.com/customer-experience/trends-and-stats)

If you’re ready to take the first step to customer centricity and a CX approach, let’s talk. We’ll guide you from curiosity to action, or if you’re an experienced company, product or marketing team, we’ll show you the latest methods for developing, and applying, this approach to strengthen your company. Let’s talk: hello@refineandfocus.com

Thank you Ole Bondevik for contributing to this article with exceptional research and strategic thinking.

Thanks to Phuong Tran for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

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