The ‘Customer’ is the most pronounced word in almost every corporate today. Because, today’s customers are more demanding and their expectations are changing rapidly too. They follow the Better, Faster and Smarter Intuitively/Ingeniously method. They no longer and never accept products with glitches, delay in delivery and ever accept cost overrun. The reason behind this, they stay informed (i.e) the global competitive playing field is being levelled and it is now possible for more people to collaborate and get knowledge about the products and services that are available in the market.
Up Your Service
To compete, lead and to stay ahead of the competition always, to grab the market share, business organizations today will have to “Over Deliver” than “Promised” (i.e. the basic/agreed customer needs); for this, many organizations today, are trying to know and understand “What the Customers want from them”. The customer mindset and expectations changes when you are ready to deliver what is promised; they want something new and more than what they have got already. However, the value addition and process improvements through innovation may convince them in one way, on the other side today’s value added services or additional features become a basic need or functionality in the product.
On the flip side, there are situations where even the customer may not be able to emphasis on what he really wants. The I Know It When I See It (IKIWISI) model, may help both the delivery organization and the customer understand what is it required to be delivered at the user end. But, the IKIWISI model may only be viable for big players, who have set up large infrastructure for Research, Innovation & Development, Employee Productivity, Increased Customer Satisfaction and etc., where as the small organizations may not implement the same; since it entails huge investment on resources which their treasury may not have. While, things are in such status quo organizations can better understand the customers by enhancing the customer experience. It can be achieved only when the organization collaborates and enriches itself in the customer experience intuitively. For example, in the luxury car segment, how many customers can really articulate on what does luxury car mean and the features it must have. Whether having air conditioning with automatic climate control, five-speed (or more) automatic transmission, antilock brakes, traction control and more… mean to luxury. Let us define ‘More’ too.
No Big Deal
When the relationship with the customer and the organization moves forwards, in order to add to better value for money, the CSAT survey and the Feedback Process are few of the tools the companies adopt to measure their customer satisfaction, through word processors and spreadsheets. But there is clearly a delta between what is been told and what is been perceived and received through these electronic surveys and feedback. Sometimes, the Pulse of the Customer may not be felt and left untouched by the project leaders and delivery executives,which are really very critical. To bridge this gap, it is mandated for the CXOs (especially in large organizations) to travel and visit the customer place to acknowledge their concerns and resolve the issues rather than focussing on ‘The Top Line’ and ‘The Bottom Line’ always.
A survey by Feedback Consulting, one of the finest consulting firms from India shows the changing trend, pattern and priorities of customer expectations from their Supplier. Today, ‘Right First Time’ has emerged as the no.1 priority for the customers when ‘On time delivery’ was expected during last decade. The ‘Technical competence’ is topping the list when ‘Soft Skills’ was considered over the years. With the customer concentration is on these areas, the companies shifted its focus on ‘Large/Strategic Accounts Management’ for repeated business rather than managing single project.
As the saying goes, the only constant is ‘Change’ in this fast moving landscape; one particular factor remains same forever and it never and ever changes.
Performance > Expectation (Over Deliver)
Performance = Expectation (Walk the Talk)
Performance < Expectation (Escalation on SLA)