To grow a business in today’s times, it is essential to retain customers and create a positive word-of-mouth reputation in the market. And for this, it is not enough to just expedite tickets and provide basic product support; you need to exceed his expectations give him a mind-blowing used experience. In other words, you need to delight the customer consistently, repeatedly.
So, how to delight the customer?
As a Chief Customer Officer, your most important job is to create a culture of customer delight, and your entire team needs to be aligned towards that goal.
Creating a culture of customer delight
The product’s popularity, churn rate, NPS (Net Promoter Score), organization’s growth all depends on this one factor. So, how to make an entire team get a customer-delight mindset? Well, the CCO (Chief Customer Officer) can do a few things that will drive this through:
- Helping the team with the tools to help them understand the customers’ needs and giving them what they want (read that as ‘more than what they want’).
- Taking those calls that might help customers reach out to the CS (Customer Success) team instantly – like chatbots. According to a survey, 79% of customers prefer live chats because they offer an immediate solution to their issues.
- Keeping the communication channels between the product and CS teams open to regularly update the latter about feature updates/when to upsell, etc. This is especially important in a B2B SaaS world.
Why is a customer delight culture essential for growth?
Well, the first reason is that it costs five times more money to attract new customers than to retain the existing ones. Let us look at some figures and facts here:
- 20% of your customers rake in 80% of the revenue, whereas the remaining 80% only bring in about 20%
- Prioritizing the customers is extremely crucial in the SaaS world – and helping them attain their desired outcome will also eliminate competition, as they would want to be with you for life.
- It is a cycle of growth – creating a culture of customer delight will attract new customers, engage with prospective ones, and make the existing ones happy, and opt for brand advocacy.
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What can the CCO (Chief Customer Officer) do to create a customer delight culture?
To begin with, the CCO must develop some internal playbooks that will encourage a customer-first thought process. Set up a system of regular feedback and update meetings. The entire team needs to gain the customers’ trust – so product mastery is necessary. They must learn to read data, create customer value maps, and adopt customer-centric orientation practices. Apart from that,
- Provide training about how to write success stories and communicate with the customer.
- Build a knowledge base that can act as a quick reference to answer customer calls.
- Train them to listen to the customer – this will help them understand the customer better. They will then be able to help the customers achieve their goals and desired outcomes better.
- Apologize gracefully. Often covering up or refusing to accept a mistake backfires badly. If you have messed up, apologize, and move on quickly – the customer will also respect this. Owning up to mistakes will also make the customer trust you more.
- Be open about playbooks, encourage reviews and feedback; be available to the team for sharing best practices across internal groups
Create processes and implement them
- How to be consistent across channels? If they have to answer a customer call, what should they do? What should they not do?
- How to score well on the customer responsiveness rate? How fast and accurately can your team respond to a customer call?
- When the processes are not in place, team members will feel unproductive, and they might miss deadlines and fail to deliver. In the long run, they will get frustrated and become non-performer. Their negativity will begin to impact customer relations.
- Customer education, handling escalations, and getting customer feedback regularly require the creation of best-practice playbooks. If you do not have, create them, and if you have, check to see if they need tweaking.
- Show the team how to analyze data by providing them with the right tools. Investing in the right technology and tools that help the team anticipate customer needs will be a big booster for the team’s morale, and they will feel more confident
- Invest in customer listening tools to exceed customer expectations – it will help you and your team be one step ahead of customer demands, which will make the customers extremely happy for sure!
- Help your team personalize the journey for every customer – this will make the customer value you and make way for lifetime loyalty
Create reward plans for customers and tell your team its importance
- Everyone likes to be made to feel special; customers are no different. They also love gifts, discounts, loyalty coupons, badges – anything to make them feel valued and cherished. Be open to customer feedback and promptly respond to those with valuable suggestions with some value-added gesture.
- Apart from new customer discounts, etc., reward customers for loyalty. Plan incremental rewards for their continued use of the platform. For example, if they achieve a new milestone or try out new product features, give them something to take them to the next step.
- Last but not least – reward your employees, too. Praise them for successes reward special achievements.
Tips for the CCO
Yes, you need to do many things for the company, customers, and the team. But you must also do a few things for yourself to show value and rise to the ranks. Some of the traits to hone would be:
- Being an active collaborator
- Being open to the customer and the team’s feedback
- Regularly review processes and their effectiveness
- Setting your goals beforehand and seeking training if needed
- Knowing your customer base and the value they bring to the company
The CCO must also be ready to listen to both the customers and the employees, understand their pain points and try to redress them. Align with all departments and get all departments on board with the idea of customer-centricity. Optimizing all the above issues and processes with accurate implementation will soon have your team ace it.
Remember, customer delight is about taking customer satisfaction to the next level. You, your team, and the product must be in perfect sync before reaching out to the customer. A CCO needs to drive cross-team efforts between departments to create a customer delight culture within the organization. They also need to adapt to a proactive and positive approach towards customers’ needs. The CCO must ensure that everyone within the organization is working towards helping the customers derive the full value of your product and achieve their desired outcomes. Only then will you be able to surpass customers’ expectations and build delightful lifetime journeys with your customers.12
And this, in a nutshell, is what a CCO’s journey in an organization is all about.
Rakhin has over 10 years of experience driving business development and client services. In his prior roles, he stayed close to customers to understand their requirements and help them achieve their business goals. He is passionate about customer success.
Published March 24, 2022, Updated April 26, 2022