July 7, 2016
The 3 Cs of customer satisfaction: Consistency, consistency, consistency
Consistency – It could be one of the least inspirational topics for most managers as it demands a lot – a consistency of thought, purpose, and action over an extended period of time. Its indeed very hard to sustain an audience, though at the end of the day it is exceptionally powerful.
It’s not enough to make customers happy with each individual interaction. Studies suggest that effective customer journeys are more important. Research conducted by McKinsey & Company has identified three keys to consistency.
It’s well understood that companies must continually work to provide customers with superior service, with each area of the business having clear policies, rules, and supporting mechanisms to ensure consistency during each interaction. However, few companies can deliver consistently across customer journeys, even in meeting basic needs.
The fact is that consistency on the most common customer journeys is an important predictor of overall customer experience and loyalty.
In most of the industries which underwent this survey, a positive customer – experience emotions along with a feeling of trust were the biggest drivers of satisfaction and loyalty. The thought – “A brand I feel close to” and “A brand that I can trust” will be the top drivers that will differentiate a company on customer experience from others. Ensuring consistency in customer journeys to build trust is extremely important for long-term growth.
A company’s brand is driven by more than the combination of promises made and promises kept. Also critical is to ensure that customers recognize the delivery of those promises. This indeed requires proactive shaping of communications and key messages that consistently highlight delivery as well as themes. As a brand, our attempt should always be to generate a reservoir of goodwill and to reinforce those experiences through our consistency.
Becoming a company that delivers customer-journey excellence requires many things to be done well. However, to list the top three priorities, they are:
a. Take a journey-based approach: For companies wanting to improve the customer experience as a means of increasing revenue and reducing costs, executing on customer journeys leads to the best outcomes.
McKinsey’s research reveals that a company’s performance on journeys is 35 percent more predictive of customer satisfaction and 32 percent more predictive of customer churn than performance on individual touchpoints.
Since a customer journey often touches different parts of the organization, companies need to rewire themselves to create teams that are responsible for the end-to-end customer journey across functions.
While we know there is an infinite number of journeys, there are generally three to five that matter most to the customer and the business—start your improvements there.
To track progress, effectiveness, and predict opportunities, you may need to retool both metrics and analytics to report on journeys, not just touchpoint insights.
b. Fix areas where negative experiences are common: Because a single negative experience has four to five times greater relative impact than a positive one, companies should focus on reducing poor customer experiences, especially in those areas in which customers come into contact with the organization most often.
Finally, do it now Researches indicate that since 2009, customers are valuing an “average” experience less and have even less patience for variability in delivery.
In addition, companies that experience inconsistency challenges often expend unnecessary resources without actually improving the customer journey.
Making additional investments to improve the customer experience without tightening the consistency of experience is just throwing good money after bad.