A perfect storm is coming your way. The book, Smart customers, stupid companies by Michael Hinshaw and Bruce Kasanoff, takes four trends and explains what they will mean for your business.
The trends are: connectivity (the internet of everything), digital sensors (imagine a world where sensors are embedded in everything you see), pervasive memory (everything is recorded, everything is data) and the impact of social media.
CRM does not work
Over the past decade, billions of pounds were spent on CRM systems. How much do you think customer satisfaction has increased as a result? Nil, nada, zip, zero. Why? CRM captures data that is relevant to the company, not the data that is relevant to the customer. And therein lies the problem.
Friction is suicide
There is no customer loyalty. Customers are now smarter than companies and they adjust quicker to technology. A bad customer experience means that they will switch (89%). And that is amplified by social media (their friends will switch too). Friction is business suicide.
"Wow" is the best defence
You need to become as smart as your customer, you need to anticipate their needs, delight them and make sure that all the touch points you have with your customer are seamless and smart. Analyse the digital breadcrumbs. Imbed sensors in your products and in your business model. Create a holistic, single view of your customers. Integrate the voice of your customer in your organisation. Allow for mass customisation. Give your staff the power to delight. The best defence is an ongoing “wow” customer experience.
What I like about the book is that it covers issues in a wide range of other good business:
And it translates that into some pertinent questions and becomes, in effect a workbook to transform you company. The chapter “Get smart” is particularly powerful.
Some tips from the book:
The book ends with a challenge. “Many of you aren’t going to do this. You don’t have the culture to put customers first. You rather sell than serve”.
The authors acknowledge it is hard. But it is not impossible. If you don’t do it, your competitors will. And how can you disagree with a book that quotes Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try”.
Lets get smart!