Excellent Customer Service = Revenue Success
“We needed a rallying cry across the organization so that everyone believed putting customers first was critical.”
This was Navin Arora’s concern five years ago. As the SVP of customer experience at Telus, the Canadian telecommunications provider, he realized that the only real way to differentiate his company from others in the space was stellar customer experience – not something that customers were used to receiving from their communications provider.
Arora’s main concern, which he shared with attendees at this year’s Dreamforce conference, was to stave off the stiff competition. Telus was up against newer companies like Netflix and needed to do something drastic. Arora transformed the entire business model of Telus by focusing on the customer. Today the company is the fastest growing provider in Canada, and it provides the largest return to its investors of any other communications company in the region. One simple mandate – improve the customer experience – created a waterfall of new revenue opportunities for the company and dropped their churn rate to below 1%.
As part of the company wide shift, Telus identified that its team members are the company’s biggest competitive advantage. To fully leverage that advantage, every single team member needed to have the ability and insights to resolve issues with customer immediately. Now, via Salesforce, all reps across the company have insights into what is happening with customers. Whether the interactions are happening via online, phone or retail platforms, all the data is stored in one place, making it easy for team members to have insights at their finger tips so they get it right the first time. Delivering good customer service the first time is more cost-effective, because teams are more efficient and thus more profitable.
Know The Customer
Excellent customer service means knowing the customer, giving them control, and adapting to their situation. Overall, customers just want things to be simple, and Telus knew if they could hit the mark with these key tenants, they would create a happy, loyal customer base. In fact, the company has created such a happy base that instead of just running Net Promoter Score measurements, they now run a ‘likelihood to recommend’ survey with their customers, because a true test of loyalty is whether or not they will recommend you to a friend or family member. In addition to happier customers, Telus was also creating happier employees, who had a sense of purpose in their daily activities and pride in helping their clients.
The issues that Telus was facing are those that companies of every size, in any industry are asking themselves. How do I differentiate? How do I keep my customers coming back? How do I keep revenues growing? And in fact, a solution to all of these areas of concern is to focus on customer excellence. Happy customers are going to keep coming back, even as future innovations disrupt existing business models. Happy customers are going to bring you more business through up-sells and recommendations. And finally, happy customers are going to help you find the differentiations between you and your competitors, because they will provide you with more open and honest feedback than customers who are not engaged.
It’s Not Just Customer Experience
At the end of the day, don’t think of it as just focusing on customer experience. Those companies that have this focus are also increasing the bottom line by reducing customer effort, improving retention and loyalty, and creating employees who are happy to be working with happy customers. Putting the customer experience front and center for your company needs to be your new mandate for 2016, to create a better company overall.
IMAGE CREDIT(S): SEATTLE MUNICIPAL ARCHIVES