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The Critical Question To Ensure Progress

by Colin Shaw on December 15, 2016

Having been with the Customer Experience movement since the beginning, I have seen companies embrace the idea of putting Customers at the center of everything they do and reap the rewards in increasing Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and revenues. Now, some of these companies are experiencing a plateau in their NPS score. They no longer see it climb the way it once did. They call me and ask, what’s wrong?

However, the question shouldn’t be what’s wrong. The question needs to be what’s next?

It’s Time for New Ideas and a Fresh Perspective

The easy things in Customer Experience have been done. It’s a bit like weight loss. When you have a lot to lose, and you start a helpful diet, the weight comes off quickly in the beginning. But the closer you get to your target weight, the slower the weight comes off. It might even stop altogether—if you don’t change your method.

It’s the same with Customer Experience. When the experience was one disappointing moment after another with a clear inward focus on what was best for the company, and those areas were addressed the success came quickly in the beginning. Many organizations have revamped those moments and their focus to great effect, with huge gains in NPS over a short amount of time. Naturally, however, as the NPS climbs higher than it ever has, it slows down.

To keep those great effects coming, you must modify the method. Also, it’s time to accept some new ideas:

  1. Customers are not always rational, and they don’t make rational decisions as often as they think they do.
  2. Understanding the psychology of why people do things helps us understand what they will do in the future.
  3. Price is not the ultimate deciding factor for many people; it’s more complex than what is the lowest price.

We need a fresh perspective in Customer Experience. We need to understand customer behavior at a psychological level. We need to know why people do what they do, and we need to know it even when people can’t tell you themselves. Not only will this understanding help you see how to jump start plateauing results in NPS and Customer Experience improvement, but it will also help you understand what customers are going to do next.

Saving and Making Money by Knowing What’s Next

The ability to predict with accuracy what people are going to do next has many benefits. It can save you money. Let’s say you have customers that are reluctant to move to an online e-statement, which is less expensive to produce and present than a traditional paper bill. You know that people respond to incentives, so you motivate them with a positive incentive that rewards their change in behavior. Many of them will switch. For the customers that still don’t convert you use incentives, too, just not positive ones. Chances are the remaining lot will switch in short order as well!

Predicting behavior can also help you facilitate a better relationship with your customers. For example, you know some customers use only one of your four available services. However, you have an interaction with them on this one product every month. You can use this monthly communication to take care of their business. Then, by looking at how they use the one product, you can match a companion service from the remaining three.  This strategy deepens your relationship with these customers and in a way that benefits the customer, too.

Saving and making money in these situations hinge on the understanding of why people do what they do. Knowing that rationality is not always the driving factor for decision-making and grasping how psychology influences the outcome is an important part of this understanding. Gaining understanding is only part of it, though. It is also crucial to let go of old ideas about the importance of having the lowest price as well.

It’s true; NPS scores can plateau, no longer climbing by leaps and bounds the way they once did. The scores might even have peaked for those organizations that did the most efficient job of putting their customers at the center of everything they do. However, the slow-down happens not because of what’s wrong with their present efforts; the slow-down happens because it’s time for what’s next.

The real question now is will you ask what’s next about your Customer Experience before it’s too late?

Learn more about the psychology behind customer behavior and how to manage ‘what’s next’ for your company, sign up for one of the Beyond Philosophytraining courses. Register now using the code Holidays to get 10% discount!

If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in the following blogs:

Industry Secrets Leaked: Predicting Customer Behavior

Astonishing Big Gains from Little Changes

Trade in Old Thinking for New

Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.

Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX

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Colin ShawThe Critical Question To Ensure Progress