What do customers want? Simply identifying a group of consumers and crafting a well-designed product for those consumers isn’t enough. Consumers today want more than product; they want companies to offer them unique experiences. To do this, businesses must have a comprehensive customer strategy in place. Strategy experts Thomas Ripsam and Louis Bouquet break down 10 principles of a winning customer strategy, offering case studies and tips to help organizations craft their own executable plans. getAbstract recommends this article to business leaders and sales and marketing strategists.
To provide your customers with value and a unique experience, follow 10 principles:
“A customer strategy…is the articulation of the distinctive value and experience your company will deliver to a chosen set of customers over three to five years, along with the offerings, channels, operating model and capabilities you will need.”
“Your organization should be ‘fit for your customer’: That is to say, it should be designed to make it easy to deliver a great customer experience.”
“Master the art of the possible” – Take inspiration from innovators like Uber and offer your customers helpful technologies before they ask for them. As Uber’s rideshare app shows, what is experimental today may prove to be a must-have in the near future.
“Know your customers at a granular level” – To determine your customers’ most significant wants and needs, gather information on them from a number of different sources, including social media.
“Link your company’s customer strategy to its overall identity” – Ensure that all aspects of your firm coalesce into a unique personality. For example, Apple’s identity coincides with the “sense of superiority” its products engender in its customer base.
“Target customers with whom you have the ‘right to win’” – Rather than pursuing all possible customers, focus your energies on those consumers you feel confident will appreciate what you have to offer. Trader Joe’s, for example, pursues health-conscious food shoppers on a budget.
“Treat your customers as assets that will grow in value” – Top companies nurture their long-term customer relationships by working to fulfill their ever-changing needs.
“Leverage your ecosystem” – Your supply chain should serve as an outlet to attract customers. Additionally, cultivate “brand ambassadors” to promote your brand in both formal and informal settings.
“Ensure a seamless omnichannel experience” – Apparel brand Bonobos, for example, uses physical “guideshops” to facilitate online purchases.
“Excel at delivery” – Amazon has raised the bar for product delivery; you must, likewise, prioritize the delivery experience.
“Reorganize around the customer” – As needed, reorganize your business, including new policies, teams and shifting roles. Build employee skills to serve the experience you wish to offer your customers.
“Match your culture with your customer strategy” – Recognize the importance of creating, modeling and encouraging cultural behaviors that best serve your customers.