“Customer-obsessed” is a popular term these days and it can often feel overly hyped. But what does customer obsession really mean and why should you be … well, obsessed with it?

In their everyday lives, your customers can order a Starbucks coffee within seconds on their phone and they can buy just about anything that will arrive on their doorstep within days without leaving the comforts of their home. These frictionless events set the bar for all of your customers’ buying and consuming experiences.

Companies that lose their vigilance for customer satisfaction are, simply put, not easy to do business with. They are unable to deliver a connected experience that is integrated across their brand and personalized to the customers’ needs, falling short of their expectations. Companies that don’t make every business decision to improve their customers’ experiences risk losing their customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

Many companies focus on how to keep business processes and tools running without constantly re-evaluating their impact on their customers. In fact, according to the 2018 Salesforce State of Sales report, salespeople are so bogged down with internal process that, on average, 65% of their time is spent on non-selling activities. That leaves only 35% of a seller’s time to make a great and compelling experience for their customers.

Additionally, when companies focus on process and tooling alone, internal teams become solely focused on their functional role and lose sight of the larger picture.  

Focus on culture:

  • Break down organizational silos. By creating cross-functional, integrated success metrics that impact your customers, you promote collaboration and focus your teams on the customer’s experience.

  • Encourage curiosity. Look for and recognize individuals in your organization with a beginner’s mindset. They will always be searching for avenues for improvement and push others to think and work differently. These individuals are the multipliers for change within your organization.

  • Foster empathy. Put the customer at the center of your organization by understanding their experiences and what they care deeply about. The impact on the customer experience should be a major factor in all key decisions.

Invest in tooling to drive tangible business outcomes:

  • Artificial intelligence: Successful companies leverage intelligence tools to extract customer, account, and industry insights and make them available at the point of need.  Customers expect tailored insights that help them see the future clearer or solve problems smarter. Consequently, sales leaders expect AI adoption to grow by 155% by 2020.

  • Data management: 81% of teams say a connected view of data across the customer journey is important and companies that have a strategy in place to maintain a clear and full picture of their customers’ relationship are creating the best experiences for those customers. All past and present touchpoints across all functions should be readily available and considered when driving the future relationship with the customer.

  • Self-service: Companies that enable their customers to self-serve increase customer satisfaction through simple and fast issue resolution at the point of need, while also deflecting resources to focus on higher, value-added customer experiences.

Ultimately, companies must set “a clear mandate that delivering superior customer experience is an enterprise-level prerogative”. Think of this approach as striving toward a “Lean Customer Experience,” where a company ruthlessly minimizes waste to maximize productivity and, at the same time, maximize the customer experience.

To achieve this, companies should focus on how the platform can enhance their customer relationships. Leading organizations are using CRM to win customers over, gain insight into how those customers buy and consume, collaborate across their teams, and digitally connect with their customers across channels.  

In the end, customer-focused organizations are working to increase the value of every interaction with the customer while removing unnecessary friction.  To state it simply:

Customer Value + Customer Easy = Customer Success

For additional information or help on your journey to becoming customer-obsessed, reach out to your Salesforce rep to engage the business solutions team.

Companies that lose their vigilance for customer satisfaction are, simply put, not easy to do business with.”

Alan Love | VP, CSG Product Management, Salesforce
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