No business exists without the customer. In today's globally-interconnected, high-tech world, where a customer can switch loyalty at the click of a mouse or flick of an index finger, creating and maintaining loyal customers is easier said than done.
As a leader, how do you truly engage employees so that their "DNA is as a consumer company -- for that individual customer who's voting thumbs up or thumbs down?" as Steve Jobs puts it. How do you create a belief that "our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it's not up to par, it's our fault, plain and simply?"
To be able to put the customer first, you need more than a slogan. Talk is cheap. A lot of CEOs chant the “customer-first” mantra, but not very many in recent memory have believed in it so wholeheartedly and executed on it with such ferocity as Steve Jobs and Apple have. Very few companies put their money where their mouth is. They don’t invest in truly understanding and measuring customer relationships and perceptions and the employees who fulfill the promise every day.
Steve Jobs in a refreshingly honest, thoughtful, and profound answer in a must-watch 1997 video to a rather blunt, in-your-face question, says: “You have got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to try to sell it." He adds: "And as we have tried to come up with a strategy and a vision for Apple, it started with what incredible benefits can we give to the customer. Where can we take the customer?”
Little wonder then that Interbrand anointed Apple as the most valuable global brand saying, "Every so often, a company changes our lives, not just with its products, but also with its ethos. Few brands have enabled so many people to do so much so easily, which is why Apple has legions of adoring fans..."
Many companies take comfort in some generic customer satisfaction survey results. Then after making the survey results a part of the incentive structure, they mistakenly believe that their job is done. They will even measure the NPS (Net Promoter Score), but conveniently forget that closing the loop is a central element of the Net Promoter System. When we get involved, however, we don't just hear the customer feedback, we bring the customer’s voice right inside the organization.
Our customer satisfaction and loyalty related articles have been published in reputed publications as follows:
Journalists and reporters frequently ask us to share our views on today's customer satisfaction and loyalty related challenges: