Customer-centric behaviours for the future – customer experience optimisation

by Marty Nicholas

As organisations move away from transactional models of selling, it’s vital for frontline staff to understand the difference between having a purely transactional customer relationship versus a more meaningful one. Today, a customer’s experience must be continuously nurtured before, during and after the purchase of a product or service. This requires the frontline to be equipped with more than just basic selling skills – they need to effectively build long term relationships with customers in order to optimise each stage of the buying journey.

The move away from transactional customer engagements means that organisations are required to develop long-term customer engagement strategies by optimising the experience at each stage of the customer journey. This means offering customers a seamless experience irrespective of channel, and fulfilling the breadth of their needs across all stages of the customer journey. Frontline teams will need the skills to build connections across the organisation to enhance the customer experience, planning appropriately and collaborating to deliver positive outcomes.
What does good look like for the frontline?

      1. Seizes opportunities to exceed customer expectations  

To create more meaningful customer experiences in a digital world, it is vital for the frontline to use every client interaction as an opportunity to demonstrate value and exceed expectations. An insights-driven approach is the goal, ensuring that all customer interactions are differentiated, compelling and market-leading. Customer progression interactions can be used by the frontline to build ‘buy-in’ with the customer’s senior decision makers, helping to exceed their expectations at every stage.

     2. Makes it easy for customers to do business with them  

While exploring this topic of customer experience optimisation, it’s crucial to recognise that this not only includes interactions with end-consumers (B2C) – the B2B experience is just as important. Within a B2B customer journey, there is not one ‘single’ customer, and this is where it becomes critical for the frontline to ensure there’s a consistent and seamless experience for all involved.
To provide an effortless customer experience, frontline teams will need to navigate customers through their internal processes, to fast track deal approvals and optimise the customer experience. By proactively minimising customer administration and looking for opportunities to streamline internal approval processes, the frontline will be able to ensure successful fulfilment in both a B2C and B2B setting.

     3. Proactively contributes to improving the customer experience  

Optimising customer experience is not a one-off process. It is a continual process of ensuring that each stage of the buying process is as effortless as possible, using every opportunity to innovate. This requires frontline teams to display resourcefulness in considering ways the organisation can bring value to the customer – proactively suggesting opportunities to optimise the customer experience, and building action plans to bring them to life. In identifying messaging and experience gaps between channels, the frontline can help to provide a consistent omni-channel experience. 
What’s next?

To continually exceed customer expectations in an increasingly competitive landscape, organisations must shift from transactional models of selling to creating more meaningful, long term relationships with customers. This requires an investment in the above behaviours to upskill frontline teams, in order to optimise the customer experience through all stages of the customer journey. Our next blog will explore the sixth customer centric behaviour, cross-functional collaboration – developing the skills in cross-functional planning, nourishing networks and dynamically forming client propositions. 
We’ve unearthed these seven key customer-centric behaviours for frontline teams in our work helping organisations transform their people to better support digital go-to-market models. These behaviours are critical for frontline teams to equip themselves with when operating in the context of a digitally empowered, customer-led environment.


Our previous blogs explored the following customer centric behaviours:

1. Customer & buyer understanding – Having a deep understanding of customers to tailor approach and      offerings for each segment and persona accordingly.
2. Data & digital literacy – Translating data into relevant insights and executing on these insights in a        meaningful way.
3. Dynamic prioritisation – The shift from sequential working to prioritising tasks to where most value lies.
4. Customer journey progression – Guiding customers through the increasingly complex choices they face.

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