A perfect storm is coming your way. “Smart customers, stupid companies” takes four trends and explains what it will mean to your business. The trends are connectivity (the internet of everything), digital sensors (imagine a world where sensors are embedded in everything you see), pervasive memory (everything is recorded, everything is data) and the impact of social media.
CRM does not work
Over the last decade, over 15 billion was spent on CRM systems. How much do you think customer satisfaction has increased as a result? Nil, nada, zip, zero. Why? CRM captures date that is relevant to the company, not the data that is relevant to the customer. And therein lies the problem.
Friction is suicide
There is no customer loyalty. Customers are now smarter than companies and adjust quicker to technology. A bad customer experience means that they will switch (89%). Amplified by social media (their friends will switch too). Friction is business suicide.
“Wow” is the best defence”
You need to become as smart as your customer, you need to anticipate their needs, delight them and make sure that all the touch points you have with your customer are seamless and smart. Analyse the digital breadcrumbs. Imbed sensors in your products and in your business model. Create a holistic, single view of your customers. Integrate the voice of your customer in your organisation. Allow for mass customisation. Give you staff the power to delight.
The best defence is an ongoing “wow” customer experience.
What we like about the book is that it covers a wide range of books we have used before such as:
- “The end of business as usual” (digital Darwinism)
- “New normal” (friction no longer accepted)
- “What technology wants” (Skynet is coming)
- “Porn for bankers” (information revolution)
- ‘Infinite possibility” (to digitally boldly go where no one has gone before)
- “The thank you economy” (extreme customer service)
and translates that into some pertinent questions and becomes, in effect a workbook to transform your company. The chapter “Get smart” is particularly powerful.
Some tips form the book:
- Go extremely modular and allow to make their own product
- Cut your prices by 90% (it will happen anyway, read “Free”)
- Be utterly transparent (no lies, no spin, tell the truth)
- Apply sensor technology and make your product and touch points smart
- Collect as much data as you can and use the data to be seamless, to delight your customer and to anticipate their needs.
The book ends with a challenge. “Many of you aren’t going to do this. You don’t have the culture to put customers first. You rather sell than serve”
They acknowledge it is hard. But it is not impossible. If you don’t do it, your competitors will. And how can you disagree with a book that quotes Yoda; “Do or do not. There is no try”.
Let’s get smart!