According to a recent Forrester report (“The State of Customer Experience, 2012” by Megan Burns, April 24, 2012), more than 90% of companies are making customer experience a top strategic priority, with 75% aiming to differentiate from their competitors (and industry) on the basis of customer experience. In this day and age, similar technologies and services are popping up at remarkable speeds. Everyone is racing to bring in new customers and meet sales targets but more often than not, existing customers are kind of left to their own devices. Big mistake, don’t they realize that’s where more than 80% of their revenue comes from?
Factoring in that most firms don’t have a centralized customer experience team or that efforts are scattered throughout various departments, it’s difficult to gauge the customer experience they have in place. “The current state of customer experience management in most companies is ad hoc at best,” describes the report. Sometimes it’s the support team that has the most contact with the customers, other times it could be the community manager hearing feedback from various social channels; but information about the customer experience gets siloed and every one keeps a piece of the puzzle.
So what are they planning to do about this?
Customer success professionals are planning to spend their 2012 funding to tackle three goals:
1. Spread word about customer experience to employees
2. Solidify measurement and voice of customer capabilities.
3. Beef up customer experience expertise.
It’s high time that organizations view customer experience as a revenue branch of their business and not just as a support role. All the telltale signs of a healthy customer or one that’s at risk of churn are readily at their fingertips. Key business metrics like cost of sales and service, loyalty, and revenues can be used to define and identify the level of experience quality needed to prevent customer churn and how much “wow” it would take to turn satisfied customers into truly loyal brand advocates.
How does your organization view the role of customer success managers? Is customer success one of your top strategies for 2012?