Don’t Just Service Customers; Learn to Speak Their Language
It's no longer enough to choose a customer segment and design products targeted to them. To stay ahead, companies must speak the language of their customers, understand their needs before they do, and create distinctive value and experiences—in other words, they need an effective customer strategy, says PwC’s strategy+business.
Here are a few of s+b’s principles of customer strategy:
Know your customers at a granular level. Go beyond traditional quantitative segmenting by analyzing customer behavior and psychographic data gathered online and offline, real-time information collected from sensors and other tracking mechanisms, and geographic and mapping data.
Treat customers as assets that will grow in value. Think beyond the short-term return on customer acquisition investments; instead, cultivate long-term relationships by leveraging customer data to continually create better reasons for customers to identify with your company and its products and services.
Leverage your ecosystem. Your company exists in a broad network of relationships with customers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, industry associations, institutional partners and government agencies. These new partners can help spur innovation and more venues for going to market. They might also help win new customers by endorsing your brand.
Ensure a seamless omnichannel experience. Customers count on being able to hop between call centers, websites, mobile apps, retail stores and sales calls—getting the same experience at each stop. Successful companies develop these channels using customer expectations, brand positioning, customer value and cost-to-serve.
Reorganize around the customer. Your organization should be “fit for your customer”—designed to make it easy to deliver a great customer experience. This might involve changing decision rights; shifting roles and responsibilities; establishing new teams; and aligning incentives, norms and practices—always with your target customer and value proposition in mind.