Real change takes courage

Summer months bring sun, fun and business planning. If you’ve been tasked with “driving a customer centric approach” in your organisation and are wary about what that might mean in both practical and budgetary terms, we are here to help.

With a plethora of consultancy and solutions out there, it can seem daunting to start asking questions without getting locked into a specific CRM system or algorithm.

At Loooped, we’re far more interested in understanding the challenge and getting to the right answers for you rather than testing a pre-determined hypothesis and retro-fitting a solution.

If you’re truly committed to achieving something better we ask you to start with honest conversations and the courage to look customers in the eye when they tell you what they need, especially if it’s about change.

We offer a completely bespoke approach for your challenge, one with a hefty dose of inspiring thought leadership coupled with practical steps and measures to help you demonstrate progress. We’re all about helping you put the best behaviours into action for your customers and your business.

A fresh perspective

Gaining a fresh perspective means taking a different approach. If you always ask the same questions of roughly the same customers, you are likely to get a fairly predictable result, one that is unlikely to be a true representation of what’s really going on out there. 

It’s well worth investing time in talking to the widest set of customers you can, to hear the fullest picture from fans, haters and the middle ground.  Whilst you’re opening up that perspective, consider the channels through which you gain that insight and get beyond the usual favourites. At Loooped we are firm believers in face to face interactions because we have seen the powerful insights that are revealed when you get under the skin of your customers.  There is a richer dimension to the insight gained from people’s behaviour and expressions beyond what they write or report alone.

That insight plays a very important part in co-creating solutions to help improve the experience for your customers.  After all, who better to help you design authentic solutions than customers themselves?

 

To find out more about how we can help you gain deep customer insight and improve your customers' experience, click here to view our SlideShare page.

A bespoke approach within a framework

Your customers may be unique to you, but they are free to shop around amongst your competitors, so how do you cultivate a more exclusive relationship?

By listening more intensely and understanding your customers more deeply, you’ll have better insight into what drives their attitudes and behaviours.  Getting under their skin means an investment in curiosity and a desire to find out why people behave the way they do.  It starts with them, not you. 

Making you valued above others

When organisations prioritise revenue and profitability at the expense of a good customer experience, there is an inevitability that at some point there will be fall-out.  It’s probably something that organisations like United Airlines have a little higher up on their agenda right now. When things break down and the customer bears the brunt of the impact, particularly a highly public one, questions arise:

“How can they have thought that was a good idea?

Who is making such choices in these organisations of money over people?

Are Senior Directors measured and rewarded based on customer feedback?”

Why else are there routine calls for CEOs to resign when there is a very public mistake affecting customers negatively?

And yet, when it is the opposite situation of a very positive experience, the reach and shout is no less impactful – but for good reasons. As an organisation you want to stand out not only in your customers' minds, but also in their public broadcasts of what it is like to do business with you.  You want to be valued above the competition because value translates into recommendation, loyalty and share of revenue. That’s what makes it a business imperative, not a nice-to-have.

 

To find out more about how we can help you connect with your customers moving forward, click here to view our SlideShare page.

 

Southern Rail derails its own customers – unhappy pawns

It’s been yet another interesting few days for Southern Rail.  After a catalogue of unresolved disputes and disruption over recent months, their decision this week to adopt a different tactic to recruit customers’ influence against the RMT Union may have felt like a bold move on Monday morning – it had delivered an audible backfire of disgusted tweets within minutes.  Southern Rail embarked on a high risk strategy by taking to Twitter and full page print adverts in commuter papers urging customers to “strike back” and tweet @RMTunion & tell them how rail strikes makes them feel.  Within minutes, frustrated passengers were responding:

"You brought this on yourselves. We, your customers are suffering."

"I dislike unions but I dislike incompetent management more."

"Strongly recommend you read this thread, @SouthernRailUK bc the problems are on you."

 

There are many reasons why customers end up hating organisations (and yes, hate IS a strong word): a failure to deliver the basics, confusing terminology and the sense of being penalised to use a product or service are just a few.  But the sense of being used as a pawn in an unhappy relationship surely features high up on anyone’s list. Already experiencing that sensation on a daily basis for many months now at the mercy of the service they have no other option to choose, the decision that Southern Rail took to invest in this week’s advertising campaign placed customers firmly in the pawn position and reaches new depths.

 

It’s understandable that Southern Rail wish to reach a conclusion with their dispute but in focusing on their fight with the Union, they have very publicly demonstrated another facet to their insensitivity and lack of regard for the very people who are paying for their service.

 

Southern Rail reaped the precise opposite of what they set out to achieve.  It’s time to start again and stop failing to listen.  It’s time for leaders to spend golden time with their complaining customers, facing it out, being in the room, listening to what lies beneath the complaints.  It’s time to understand their customers’ underlying motivations and behaviours at every point in their customer experience.  What do they actually want as a customer – a reliable, clean, efficient service that they feel they get value for money from? Why?

It’s time for Southern Rail to devise a plan for the whole organisation to act upon a desperately needed change of strategy – one of behaviour and actions on their part rather than words that leave weary customers feeling further manipulated.

 

Leave your infighting to the meeting room table where it belongs. It’s like the old adage that “Mum and Dad should never bring the kids into their rows”.  It’s people who are the real victims in the crossfire of the infighting between Southern Rail and the RMT.  For other industries who exert similar exclusivity in their product/service, this is an important example of the effect on people who get caught in the crossfire of disputes.  For now, Southern Rail needs acts…not ads

 

Let's have a conversation - face to face or via social media - about those customer-centred desires.