What makes a customer loyal? This high-stakes question resonates from the boardroom to the call center. Finding the right answer is more difficult—and important—than ever. Keeping customers satisfied, without unnecessarily driving up sales or services costs, is a direct path to profitable growth, especially in the face of a challenging economic environment.
“In 2009, (Forrester expects) enterprises to turn their attention from an emphasis on customer acquisition to customer retention. In a recent CustomerThink survey of more than 350 CRM professionals, ‘improving customer loyalty’ was rated as a ‘top five’ business priority by 57 percent of respondents. This was second only to ‘improving the customer experience,’ picked by 62 percent. During an economic recession, sustaining revenue growth—or forestalling revenue erosion—becomes even more critical. Customer management improvement initiatives, supported by advanced business technologies, will continue to be critical to achieving this goal.”1
Industry-leading organizations make customers’ priorities their priorities. When managing performance, they continually measure, monitor and improve what matters most to customers. As companies align their value proposition to meet customer needs, they must periodically evaluate their strategies and processes to present customers with a consistently exceptional experience.
An enterprise that embraces customer-centricity defines its processes around its customer requirements at key interaction points. In essence, the company views itself as a portfolio of customers, rather than as discrete groups of products, services, territories and/or functions. This change in orientation allows companies to effect change necessary for their business processes, organizational structures and corporate cultures so that they can achieve the benefits of customer-centricity.
So, is your company customer-centric? Tell us what makes your customer loyal. If you would like to learn more about customer loyalty, read BearingPoint’s customer loyalty white paper.
1 Forrester, Trends 2009: Customer Relationship Management, Dec. 11, 2008