Anyone in business is likely to have encountered Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at some point? This is based upon an individuals persons needs, but this is true in business – people have needs that need to be met – this is the basic principle of why business exists. Couple that to Kato’s principle that after a while there is a normalisation of services, creating a new level of basic need. Under deliver on this promise and the impact is much more negative to customers.
Leaders are far too easy distracted by “bright and shiny” innovations especially if linked to a sales figure. But you must earn the right to take a customer relationship to this next level. If you fail in the basic delivery you cannot expect a customer to invest in new ideas.
I had a client who was randomly delivering to their basic promise with “hit and miss” customer outcomes despite a simple and in theory easy proposition. The business was focused on working towards meeting its promise, but didn’t have the technology to control every element of the process – hence the hit and miss nature of its execution. To improve this they invested in developing this technology, which enabled them to deliver to the basic needs much more consistently and begin to build strength in their customer experience and long term customer loyalty.
However, in the excitement of all things bright and shiny this tech also enabled them to prioritise orders and potentially offer a faster “queue jumping” solution for which they could charge a fee. As a result, the minority of customers who were invested in the brand took up this new offer, the majority were left in different and those who could have been recovered by getting the basics right were more likely to become lapsed customers or even detractors.
The best way to manage the customer relationship is to focus on the elements causing them the most pain. Fixing this build trust and earns the right to introduce them to new innovations, avoiding scepticism and enabling the new ideas to increase customer retention, spend and long-term loyalty. Have you encountered this over-sell and under delivery scenario as a customer?