Where does the challenge lie in improving customer experience? Loo van Eck CEO Martijn Jacobs says it's not with procedures, systems or marketing changes, but in giving customers the gift of your undivided attention.
Today’s customers have new expectations and customer experience is judged by whether or not those expectations were met. Loo van Eck CEO Martijn Jacobs defines customer experience as, “The sum of all interactions between customers, products, services and a company.” The Loo van Eck CEO is aware that many companies aren’t able to substantiate the promises they made towards their customers, which makes for a bad customer experience, “CEOs speak about their core values. They promise to be ‘clear, flexible, or reliable,’ but when we ask them how those translate to changes in employee behaviour, they’re not able to give a proper answer.” For Jacobs, it’s a must for decision-makers to be able to tell how “flexible” sounds on the phone or how “reliable” is read in a letter, email, or proposal.
Changing procedures, systems, or marketing is the easiest part of customer experience improvement. What’s really challenging for organizations, according to Jacobs, is communicating or interacting with their customers everyday.
For Loo van Eck, which is in the business of helping organizations improve their customer experience, it’s a must to have clients witness and experience their expertise in customer experience first hand, “We can only be reliable if we practice what we preach. So, if a customer asks for our help, the goal is to surprise him with a nice approach, tailor-made solutions, and smart ideas.”
Digital capabilities, like having a very smart CRM, make it possible and easier for organizations to collect useful information about their customers. All companies need to do after is link the information to the products, make quick adjustments, and watch as individual customer preferences are met. According to Jacobs true customer-centricity is about thinking of what customers really want, not what the company wants. But sadly, many organizations still can’t let go of their old ways, “They are still focused on their own products, procedures, internal organization, and are too busy wrestling with all kinds of invented rules made over the years.”
If organizations want to be truly customer-centric, they’ve to treat the customers as a friend, “A friend is someone you think about even when he doesn’t want to buy something, but you remember and help him, anyway.”
The little things are important, as well. At Loo van Eck, account managers are trained to befriend a minimum number of clients, give them all the attention and care they need, and ensure that genuine interest is communicated during the whole process, “If a client visits our office, the office manager smiles, gets up from her chair, and walks around the counter to give a warm handshake.”
Today, customers are expecting tailor-made approaches, products, and services, and companies can offer solutions based on the customers’ online behaviour. The challenge lies in individualizing those offers. At Loo van Eck, “We rewrite policy conditions for large insurance companies and those conditions are full of boilerplate texts for both men and women, and so even the men get passages about pregnancy. Pregnancy passages are not just useless for men, they also make them feel just like a number, and that’s not customer-centric. Therefore, before we rewrite the conditions, we first help organizations measure the policies. So then every customer receives a policy that is 100% adjusted, and that’s truly customer-centric. It takes courage to do this and organizations must invest in it.”
Loo van Eck will be attending our 600Minutes Human Resources event in The Netherlands on the 31st of May 2017 as a solution provider.
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