Inside the mind of the customer – the game has changed

Inside the mind of the customer – the game has changed

In 2015 knowledge is power, power to the customer.

We live in a super-fast, well informed society with real-time trending and social media channels instantly feeding the mind of consumers. Armed with high expectations, customer needs and desires are more demanding than ever. The game has changed; to survive we have to compete, head on with the outside world. We must stimulate, personalise and delight, to win hearts and minds. To do that, we must create the best possible customer experience.

ThoughtForget the dark days of winter, where consumer spends are traditionally restrained and cash sales are depleted, we must focus on change. Spring is the perfect time for brushing away the cobwebs and planning something fresh and exciting for your catering facilities. It doesn’t have to be anything too grand; often the simplest of ideas drive the biggest rewards for your customers and for you.

Re-engage with your building, take time to talk to your colleagues, clients and customers; get to know who they really are and most importantly what they really want. Are they satisfied? What are there expectations? Did you know that 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, they simply don’t come back.

Satisfaction is the best indicator of how likely a customer will return to your facility and how much they will spend; it therefore has to be a key element of your business strategy. Truly satisfied customers contribute 14 times more revenue than somewhat dissatisfied others. We have seen throughout 2014 that value for money is still a top priority to the majority of consumers, but it’s the value of the product or service that prevails, not price alone. The true driver to increasing cash sales is not just to create value, but also to provide an experience.

CarolynAccording to Forrester’s Customer Index, customer centric companies have gained 43% in overall performance, compared to a 33.9% decrease where companies have neglected customer experience. In 2015, companies will recognise that a better customer experience will improve customer satisfaction, increase loyalty and improve retention. It also generates trust; last year the top British companies that gained our trust were John Lewis, Virgin Atlantic, QVC & First Direct. To quote Richard Branson “The brands that will thrive in the coming years are the ones that have a purpose beyond profit”, he believes the 3 Ps to business success are Profit, People & the Planet.

So let us compete with the outside world, take a fresh look at our facilities and get inside the mind of our customers. Co-create new initiatives and service offers with them for them, inclusion is integral for future loyalty. Remember, we must stimulate, personalise and delight, to win hearts and minds. To do that, we must create the best possible customer experience.

EP will be hosting a breakfast forum in partnership with Carolyn Hails from Thinkspace Partnership on “Creating Customer Experience Strategies” next Thursday 26th of February. To attend or find out more please contact Arlene McCaffrey

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