Customer experience has become a business imperative. According to Forrester Research Principal Analyst Paul Hagen, 86 percent of business leaders say customer experience is a top strategic priority for 2011 at their organization, 76 percent plan to differentiate based on customer experience, and 46 percent have a company-wide program in place for improving customer experience.
It's no wonder that pleasing customers is reaching such prominence in corporate America. Research from Temkin Group finds that even incremental enhancements can lead to multimillion-dollar revenue gains. "We analyzed the correlation between customer experience and loyalty across 12 industries and found that customer experience leaders enjoy a double digit advantage in several areas, including customers' willingness to buy more from them, reluctance to switch business away from them, and likelihood to recommend them," says Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group and chairman of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. "A modest improvement in customer experience can, for example, drive between $179 million for health plans and $308 million for hotel chains of incremental revenue over three years for every $1 billion in annual sales."
The fact is, focusing on the customer is simply good business. Whether it's listening to customers and acting on their feedback, delivering more personalized customer service or sales interactions, or targeting marketing communications based on customer value segments, taking a customer-centric approach is certain to produce positive results.
1to1 Customer Champions know this-and act accordingly. They take steps to better understand customer needs, behavior, and value, and then use that insight to make informed decisions that lead to profitable business outcomes.
Selecting the 1to1 Customer Champions each year is no easy feat. All of the nominees are working tirelessly to champion the customer cause in their organization in ways that also make an impact on the bottom line. This year the 1to1 editorial team was delighted to have two guest judges: Temkin Group's Bruce Temkin and 2008 1to1 Customer Champion Liliahn Johnson, director of fan development for the NBA-both experts on customer experience management.
The 1to1 Customer Champions are experts in customer experience success, as well. As the 2011 1to1 Customer Champions demonstrate, an uncompromising focus on the customer is a guaranteed business driver. Hear how in the stories that follow.
- Ginger Conlon