Customer insights are beyond invaluable for businesses. By having a focus set on urging customer feedback and applying insights for an optimised customer experience, a vital key to innovation will appear. Today, many companies have their focus set on market disruption and innovation as new drivers for business success, and companies experience high pressure to do things differently, faster, and better to stay ahead in their market.
In 2021, as the global pandemic continues, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the biggest solution in business is to create something different, something new and exciting that hasn’t been done before – something that catches your customers’ attention.
But how do you go about launching novel products and services that customers care about? How do you make sure that your innovative solution is something customers will get excited about?
Achieving superior innovation is about creating value where value is needed, developing a more substantial customer focus, and maximising customer care skills. Great value comes from inviting thorough customer involvement across value chains.
This article is part one in a three-part mini-series about developing superior customer care skills as part of a sophisticated innovation strategy. In this article, we will cover:
- Why you need to focus on customer care skills, experience and innovation
- Getting the right information, and getting it the right way
Why Focus on Customer Care Skills & Customer Involvement?
When achieving successful innovation, it is important companies are aware of what business value they can gain by working strategically and differently in terms of customer involvement. Some of the questions companies need to ask themselves in this process include:
“Why are we here as a company, who are we here for and how can we solve their problems?” “Is our company customer-focused and do we know what our customers need and how can we use this knowledge as a foundation for growth?” Further examples of questions to answer are:
“Do we know what future digital services are needed to differentiate our business from the competitors?” “Do we involve our customers in the development of new offerings and new innovations and thereby strengthen loyalty and success rate?” “Can we be even better at doing things differently?”
Answering a lot of in-depth existential questions about why your company is what it is and how it serves the people it targets is only one side of the coin. On the other side, you’ll find customer-centricity, and the need to incorporate customer involvement into your ideation stages as well as develop customer care skills that naturally yield customer insights. This is a huge competitive advantage when it comes to innovation, all due to the fact that honest feedback builds a foundation of data about customers’ genuine needs in your market.
If you are interested in learning more about customer feedback and how it helps not only in the innovation stages but also in the overall growth of your company, make sure to check out our previous article: How Customer Feedback Benefits the Growth of Your Company.
Getting the right information, and getting it the right way
The very first step towards customer involvement and the driving force for customer care skills is the ability to gather information about your customers. It’s vital that companies bring focus to their maturity in terms of data collection, as this will determine whether or not you’re collecting the right information and in the right way.
If a company does not ask themselves continuously and systematically “who are our customers, what are their needs and why do they buy our products and solutions, and which problems do we need to solve for them in the future?”, it will be difficult to survive in the market in the long term. Knowledge and information about customers should not only dictate the company’s strategy, but also be used as a foundation for developing strategies moving forward. This can be a game-changer for companies that want to remain on top.
When it comes to getting the right information, a huge part is daring to dig deep. Companies that stay brave in terms of facing potential criticism about the business itself are also those most likely to achieve top-tier nuggets of information from their customers about what they want and need in their day-to-day lives. These companies are also the ones that keep a holistic view of customers and their full experience of interactions with their brand, i.e. impressions during service, marketing, and communication opportunities.
- Why is it important to engage with customers?
Customer engagement benefits both customers and suppliers by increasing close rates while meeting the current market expectations. The idea behind customer engagement is gaining insights that are critical to the success of your marketing and production. In essence, finding out what your audience wants means knowing what the market lacks. Learn more about that in this article.
- Why is service innovation important?
A big part of making sure you engage with your customers in a way that is beneficial to the collection of valuable information about your customers is innovating your company’s service strategies. By innovating your service, you can develop services that address previously unmet customer needs and sustainably differentiate the company from the competition, increasing customer loyalty.
What’s more, sophisticated customer service providers have a unique opportunity to get close to the customer as their demands and requirements change, making it possible for them to remain a market front-runner and further develop their customer care skills, ultimately creating a superior space for innovation to happen.
If you are interested in learning more about customer care, customer experience and innovation, make sure to check out parts two and three of this mini-series. We are always happy to help in any way we can, so you are always welcome to share a proposal.