There is no need to predict the future, the customer does that for you

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As the consumer's needs continue to rapidly change, retailers are seeking predictions of the future. Many businesses come forward asking me to gaze into a pretend crystal ball and construct a future that cannot yet be determined.

For businesses seeking answers, there is no need to predict the future, the customer does all that for you.

Your existence is based on satisfying the customer, so what can a business do to enable the customer to help predict the future?!

This is done by activating what I call a "Recover Strategy":

Step 1: Create a "Recovery team"

You are not going to get everything right during this time of change. In fact it's impossible. A retailer has a business that has established services and offerings based on an outdated series of principles.

So don't stress and create a team who is empowered to seek out unhappy customers and right-the-wrongs. "Empowered" means, employees can do anything then need to keep that customer happy.

Don't think for a second, this "Recovery team" is the same as your current "Support team". It's not! Customer support remains as is, they are the reactive team. This is a proactive recovery strategy and take the signals from support, or NPS, or customer reviews, or Live Chat, or Social and act!

The research:

Research has proven, customers who see a business working hard to recover, become more loyal to that brand. There are two reasons for this...

  1. Consumers love seeing a business work hard to make/keep him/her happy, and
  2. Very few businesses make this type of effort to keep customers happy

Step 2: Capture, Report, and Change:

While very few organisations work hard to recover, an even lessor amount conduct this Step 2.

Change always comes from the top down. However, executive decision-making should be influenced by the bottom up.

Once this team “recovers” they document the issue, they identify the causes within the business, and explain what was done to rectify. This information is then presented to senior members of the business.

If the executive team is truly customer-centric they will pay attention and use this as the roadmap for change.

Step 3: Apply change rapidly:

Since consumers are now rapidly changing, the value in this strategy comes if these changes are executed at the same pace.

This has been identified in the research as one of the fundamental barriers to change for larger organisations: pace of change.

This "recovery" approach ensures business changes in the same direction (and same pace) as what the consumer expetcs from it.

Consumers change, you follow. Simple. Those who don’t....lose!

This article was as tagged as Customer Service , Digital Strategy

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