Companies have increasingly emphasized the need to continuously provide the best experience to their customers. This is today than ever before, with the increasing demand for personalization and a higher level of care their patrons want to get.
While some are content to give their best, others go above and beyond in giving this experience. They are tagged as “customer-obsessed” companies.
Though “obsession” might sound off in a personal setting, it can bring positive results for businesses. Coined by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in the 1990s, customer obsession goes far in terms of taking care of their clients and making sure an organization provides everything they need.
Like Amazon, global businesses can master customer obsession, too!
What customer obsession means
Customer obsession refers to the approach in which organizations focus on improving customer experience. They put heavy emphasis on customer satisfaction and include it in each business goal.
Usually, businesses that do this already have a large base of existing customers needing to retain or increase their lifetime values. With this, they invest more in retaining their existing patrons than attracting new ones.
Customer obsession might have a similar concept to customer-centricity. However, one cannot be “customer-obsessed” by simply having a dedicated customer research team on board.
This is because customer obsession should involve every nook and crannies of an organization, from the leadership to its client-facing teams.
Examples of customer obsession in companies
It is noted that at least two-thirds of companies globally now compete mostly or completely in terms of customer experience. Though most of them have the experience and convenience of their customers in mind, some have taken this to a next level.
Customer-obsessed companies tend to do the following habits:
- Create an authentic brand vision
- Offer personalized options, perks, and quality products
- Encourage curiosity and learning
- Listen to their customers better
- Align their KPIs based on their customer focus
- Utilize data and technology to their advantage, and
- Create a seamless experience for great service and support
Below are some of the examples of customer obsession in companies, whether startups or large enterprises.
Indeed, the Happiest Place on Earth is the perfect moniker for Disney – especially with the level and quality of service they provide. Its theme parks help gather their loyal fanbase of at least 157 million guests a year with over 70% customer retention rate.
This obsession started with Walt Disney, the creator himself. His example gave the idea that businesses must “walk a mile on customers’ shoes” to see what should be improved with their services.
One of Netflix’s priorities includes providing its customers a hyper-personalized experience.
The company collects tons of data from its customers, but for a good reason. Aside from their customers’ voluntarily given information, they even track their watching patterns. This includes the platform where they usually watch, time spent watching a show, and search queries.
This helps them curate the best shows most suitable for their next binge-watch or movie night.
Aside from being a social media application, Buffer is known to have one of the most exceptional customer services due to its obsession to keep its patrons happy.
Their support team does more than simple customer support, thus the moniker Happiness Team. They make sure to keep in touch with their clients and provide them the best experience possible.
By doing this, they make their customers feel happy and wowed enough to recommend them to their friends.
Costco’s customer obsession is so strong that they make their patrons into fanatics. This concept is already made by design, from its psychological tricks to its store layout and products.
For one, the membership store offers its products in bulk. This makes it easier for customers to save on deals and stock what they need for future consumption.
Not only that, the store even invests in its employees’ welfare and satisfaction.
Amazon is the first thing that comes to mind of most organizations when talking about “customer obsession”. Even founder Jeff Bezos puts it at the top of its four keys to success “as opposed to competitor obsession.”
Admittedly, Amazon believes that obsession with their customers should start from their leadership down to their employees.
According to Bezos, companies show their customer obsession by being an innovator instead of a follower.
Tips to master customer obsession
Any business can be considered “customer-obsessed” as long as they have their customers in mind in every decision and process they make.
Though, organizations successfully executing this take similar steps in maintaining their customer obsession. Some of them are the following.
Develop empathy for your customers
It all boils down to “obsessive listening” to customers to understand them. Listening to customers helps in determining the problems they encounter in interacting with a company so they can solve it.
Developing empathy and active listening is as well a lesson from Disney’s practice.
Create a “feedback loop”
At the same time, a company’s obsession should not just end in simply listening. Successful ones continue the connection by creating customer feedback loops for more proactive communication.
With a customer service team, they can actively respond to their customers for every rating and comment they give and try to resolve things as quickly as possible.
Make their experience personal
As mentioned, Netflix gets the most out of their customers’ data and tries to personalize their experience in choosing their next favorite show.
In the latest statistics, 90% of consumers in the US nowadays find personalized marketing more appealing. This is since this indicates that the business knows them very well to determine which offering can fit their needs.
Lastly, being transparent to customers is the best way to build long-term connections with them.
A growing theme nowadays deals with transparency being proof that a company’s ethical in its ways. In a recent study, 94% of consumers say that they prefer brands that practice transparency in their ways.
Customer obsession: The aspects you shouldn’t forget
Practicing customer obsession does not mean companies should invest too much in their customers and too little in the aspects that keep their business rolling.
They should know how to balance their priorities so they won’t lose track of their patrons in return.
Keeping employees happy
In the end, all businesses want to give the best service to their patrons. To do this, they need to create satisfied employees to reciprocate the level of care they get from their employers.
Maintaining product quality
A growing customer base makes it more challenging for companies to keep up with their demand. Thus, they should come up with ways to meet this demand without sacrificing the quality of their products in return.
Why not outsource certain functions such as manufacturing and customer service in return?
Avoiding too much penny-pinching
Excessive penny pinching can be connected to the first two items listed. As much as companies want to keep their patrons delighted, they now tend to save too much on their employees and the production costs, sacrificing their quality.
This, in turn, creates more harm to the company’s profits and credibility.