Investing in Customers Drives 10 Times ROI
Competition amongst service organizations is intense. Technology makes it easier for companies to find ways to outperform their competitors. So, finding a competitive edge to retain customers’ business is more crucial than ever. The question is, how can companies differentiate themselves in the eyes of their customers?
The answer lies in the pursuit of customer intimacy. At its core, customer intimacy encompasses two major components: ensuring customer satisfaction and turning customers into brand advocates.
According to the Harvard Business Review, those employing a strategy focused on achieving customer intimacy “tailor and shape products and services to fit an increasingly fine definition of the customer.” Now, why is this significant? Differentiation. If your product/service provides your customers with results that are specialized to fit their specific needs, you are able to differentiate yourself from your competition and build trust – with trust comes customer loyalty.
Long-term relationships with customers are pivotal to any organization’s success. Why? The increase in technology use in business has driven the cost of customer acquisition to new heights. In the past, you may have simply competed with companies in your demographic area for customers. Now, technological advances have caused global competition for new clients to be almost guaranteed – more and more people are trying to dip into your customer base. Differentiating yourself from your competition is, consequently, necessary for long-term success.
Long-term relationships with customers are pivotal to any organization’s success
With the cost of customer acquisition so high, using a strategy to reach a certain level of customer intimacy will allow an organization to keep customers’ business over the long-term. When employing such a strategy, you need to look at a customer’s lifetime value to a company, not the value of their initial purchase. When companies are able to assess customers in regards to their lifetime value, and treat them accordingly, customer intimacy will turn those customers into brand advocates.
Brand advocates have the power to turn even the smallest of organizations into household names. Organizations that provide service at individual customer sites have been employing technologies to customize their customers’ experiences. With specific customer information (equipment used, historical service records and warranty/contract info) at field employees’ fingertips, organizations are able to increase customer satisfaction by providing optimal, and personalized, service to each individual customer.
Recent benchmark studies have revealed that incorporating CRM integration software, like the software found in a field service management (FSM) solution, has the ability to increase customer retention rates by as much as 27 percent. By providing businesses with software that increases their brand’s reliability in the eyes of the consumer, service organizations (utilizing a FSM solution) have a unique opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with customers.
How are these organizations able to do so?
1. Mobile/cloud based service applications make it easy to schedule service visits more accurately. With the built-in scheduling software, technicians are dispatched, based on their skill-set, to the right customer – at the right time – getting the job done right, on the first encounter.
2. Personalized communications provide each customer with a unique experience, which will make them feel valued as a customer. Utilizing detailed customer information available in the mobile app, a mobile worker can elevate the level of professionalism with a customer by remaining in constant communication with the customer through voice and SMS messaging and by documenting the complete engagement process, photos, and videos.
3. By updating employees about different protocols and procedures (via mobile app), managers can track and monitor workers to make sure they are following the necessary procedures. Additionally, workers can be updated about various cultural practices in varying regions – cultural barriers will not interfere with your company’s success.
4. Getting customer sign off is big. With the right field service application, customers can sign off on the work that has been done at their site – information that is stored for future service calls. With this aspect, you will always know what service has been provided in the past and when it was last performed – allowing you to provide unmatched service to your customers in the future.
Reaching a level of customer intimacy is pivotal in today’s competitive market place. By employing the right technologies to differentiate customer experiences, service organizations have a unique ability to stand out amongst their competition. By standing out and providing outstanding customer service, service organizations worldwide will be able to turn their customers into life-long brand advocates – stemming from their focus on the importance of customer intimacy.