With each passing year, customer expectations become increasingly daunting. Companies find themselves racing to keep pace with the latest strategies and technologies. Yet, often times, the greatest innovators are those who keep things simple.Regardless of how the given industry may develop, certain values remain at the core to preserve overall customer experience. Such ideals put the 'customer' in customer strategy. Thus, as 2015 gets underway, organizations must reevaluate where their priorities lie to ensure they don't become preoccupied with the latest trends and lose sight of crucial foundational strategies.
Here are three ways businesses can get back to basics and sustain the forward momentum necessary to stay ahead of the competition simultaneously:
1. Maintain transparency in both good times and bad
Though this may sound like common sense to most, there are still many businesses that try to sugarcoat their misgivings. Such companies hide behind this thin veil of deception in an effort to prevent their shiny reputation from tarnishing in the eyes of consumers everywhere. Yet, while brands may be able to cover their tracks at first, customers are much smarter and more perceptive than businesses may think. Once the consumer realizes they're being duped, they will not only turn to the competition, but they'll also likely bring friends and family members along for the ride. One consumer scorned can unmask an entire organization based upon lies and misdirection. Thus, to preserve retention and satisfaction, brands must establish sound business practices from the very start in order to cultivate an impenetrable foundation of trust that will sustain loyalty no matter the circumstance.
2. Provide easy experiences to support loyalty growth
While consumers prefer to conduct business with brands that have their best interest at heart, they also seek out experiences that limit or reduce stress. If the given brand interaction proves troublesome, said customers are likely to turn elsewhere in the future. Today, consumers have an array of choices at their fingertips, as there are numerous companies that offer the same or similar services in any given industry. Thus, experience stands as the primary differentiator. Businesses must create an appealing and inviting atmosphere in order to attract consumers. Once they've expressed interest, companies must then sustain curiosity by making sure every step of the customer journey remains as frictionless as possible. Those that take charge in times of distress will truly set themselves apart from their competition.
3. Cultivate brand value to establish consumer worth
Just as consumers hold transparency and trust in high esteem, product and service quality must also meet the same standards. Therefore, companies must be sure their offerings provide added value. Creating an exceptional product or service demonstrates not only the brand's dedication to superior quality, but its commitment to customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well. Consumers that encounter less than stellar goods will likely find such subpar products reflect how the company views its customers. Those that offer inferior quality typically consider consumers to be nothing more than dollar signs, as their primary pursuit is one of financial gain. Brands that exude superiority, conversely, underscore consumer worth, as such practices emphasize that satisfaction comes before profits.