For companies everywhere, keeping customers has become a top priority. But it’s also become increasingly difficult to do. New Accenture research in the communications industry provides important insights into the leading factors that motivate customers to remain with a provider, as well as how to use them to determine how and where communications companies should focus their efforts to improve the customer experience—and, thus, boost customers’ likelihood of staying.
What did we find?
At a high level, our findings make one thing resoundingly clear: Delivering a one-size-fits-all customer experience is no longer enough. Experiences now must be personally relevant and simplistic in design to compete in a customer-led market. More specifically, eight insights emerged from our research:
- Even loyalty leaders, including major disruptors, can’t afford to rest on their laurels, as customer defection can be just a data breach or service experience failure away. When it comes to winning customers’ business, it’s really anyone’s game.
- A one-size-fits-all pricing model doesn’t offer affordable options for everyone. In a world of “pay by the drink” and “everyday low pricing,” traditional communications service providers must consider a dynamic, flexible pricing strategy to meet a variety of opinions about what constitutes value.
- Companies need to use customers’ personal data to create valuable, relevant experiences that recognize customers for their business, without compromising trust.
- Long-time customers’ frustration with communications companies is growing, and companies need to redouble their efforts to shore up this extremely valuable customer base.
- While developing compelling new offerings across digital platforms and ecosystems is critical to driving growth, companies still need to get the core right to retain customers.
- To increase satisfaction and stickiness, companies must deliver personally relevant, convenient, and simple experiences that meet specific customer needs and preferences in the moment.
- Companies that fail to focus efforts on “old school” channels such as phone, retail, and chat are missing the chance to improve interactions that can define the customer relationship.
- Providers need to provide the experiences they deliver in the two critical “bookend” points of the customer journey: making purchasing decisions and resolving issues.
Create your halo effect to become a Living Business
Delivering the right experience, to the right customer, at the right time is critical to keeping customers. And that requires vision and bold action. Instead of iterating what’s worked in the past, companies need to strategically transform products, services, and experiences to be hyper-relevant. We call that creating a “halo effect” that turns a company into a magnet for customers.
This could mean designing products and services that adapt to different needs and contexts. It could mean embedding the company into customers’ everyday digital routines. Or it could mean redesigning and building a new core customer experience.
The end goal should be to create a “Living Business” that’s based on a new customer-centric mindset that inspires profoundly different behaviors across the organization, and new capabilities that enable the organization to keep pace with dynamic customers—continually creating new, highly relevant offerings before its current strengths fade. That’s the kind of business provider customers flock to and stay with.