When it comes to being a champion of ‘The Championships’ how do tennis professionals manage their priorities? How do they juggle the development of the strategic, technical, physical and mental skills to become a champ? Choosing the right priorities to focus on is key to being a winning world class player. And not coming up with self-defeating excuses is also important.
The same goes for your brand and business. You might think there are more important priorities than customer engagement. You might say that there are other things you need to sort out first – your website, CRM, CMS. Maybe it’s just a case of needing to get more leads and more sales first? There’s always a backlog of stuff which just feels easier to tackle to deliver value quicker, or a focus on Sales. The list goes on and on. Excuses, excuses…
As ‘The Championships’ 2017 get underway at Wimbledon, here are some facts to help you make your brand a world champion and start winning with Customer Engagement.
Anyone for Pimms?
320,000 Glass of Pimms will be served at The Championships this year. That’s one hell of a hangover in Wimbledon. For a lot of businesses there’s a fear of the risk and cost of being responsible for a White Elephant project, the kind of project which gives a business a monster hangover. A research study conducted by McKinsey & Company (1) in conjunction with the University of Oxford on more than 5400 IT megaprojects summarised that on an average 45 % large IT projects run over budget and 7% run over time while delivering 56 % less value than the predicted. 17% of IT projects go so bad that they put the whole organization in jeopardy. Ugh. Reaching for the paracetamol before you’ve even started?
We get it, we really do. Integrating new technologies, especially ones designed to affect multiple departments, silos, customer channels and touchpoints sounds big, expensive and usually sits within the sphere of big Si’s and big IT projects.
Customer Engagement does not have to be a White Elephant. It really doesn’t need to be difficult, time consuming or even that complicated. The fact is that it can be implemented quickly, easily, without the need for coding or ‘techy’ know-how, in a way which builds on and scales with the systems you already have in place, and which helps you to break down your businesses silos. You can quickly and easily run pilots that will yield instant results and before you know it you’ll have value coming out of your ears in only a matter of weeks. Far from having a terrible hangover, your brand will feel championship-fit.
Rain Stops Play
You might be thinking, to make Customer Engagement your top priority today feels like a ‘nice to have’. However, you’re only delaying the inevitable – you’ll have to understand and meet your customer’s expectations one day, hopefully before it’s too late, before rain stops play.
There have only been 7 years that the Championships have been recorded as being without rain interruptions since 1922. For more years than not, rain has stopped play at Wimbledon. Not putting your relationships with your customers first will stop play for your brand. A recent research study (5) shows:
- 58% of consumers have seen no improvement in their relationship with brands, with 59% believing they have no relationship with a brand they’ve bought.
- 25% of consumers will switch brands after just one negative experience.
- 30% will share a negative experience.
- 45% will abandon a purchase after 2 separate interactions.
This all adds up to lost business for your brand.
You Cannot Be Serious?
John McEnroe was famous for being a Wimbledon Champion. He was also notorious for loudly complaining about Umpires’ decisions. Brits have often been called ‘Whinging Poms’. You’d better believe it. The fourth annual Consumer Action Monitor (CAM)(2) reveals growing disillusionment among consumers and that the customer does not always come first. The report also highlights the business cost of poor customer service is an estimated £37 billion as disgruntled consumers vote with their feet. And that’s in the UK alone. That’s $100 billion lost in the US and $400 billion worldwide (3). Complaints made by UK consumers reached 55 million in 2016 – up by three million from last year – with over a quarter now more likely to complain about an issue than they were 12 months ago. However, over 75 million issues were ignored, because many perceive the complaining process to be too much hassle, and don’t trust businesses to look after their interests.
New Balls Please
It’s time for a change in priorities. Research from Gallup(4) revealed that brands who successfully engage their customers go on to see 63% lower customer attrition, 55% higher share of wallet, and 50% higher productivity. Gallup also found that actively disengaged customers present a 13% discount in those same measures. Gallup’s research found brands who are ‘fully engaged’ with their customers perform better with ‘a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer.’
Strawberries and Cream
140,000 servings of strawberries and cream will be eaten at Wimbledon this year. That’s a lot of sweetness. Making your relationships with your customers your top priority will sweeten your brand and your business’s bottom line. Recent research (5) shows:
- 81% of consumers are impressed by an ongoing flow of useful contact.
- 82% favour offers and deals presented at the right time.
- 83% of consumers feel positive about brands that put knowledge about them to good use.
- 89% have an improved opinion of a brand that remembers previous interactions with them.
Game, Set and Match
Make customer engagement and building more meaningful relationships with your customers your top priority. Instead of re-building your website and CRM processes in the hope of meeting your customer’s expectations, why not listen to them first and then build the relevant experiences around them? You might surprise yourselves, with these extra insights you may change the direction of all those other projects for the better. Beat your competitors and win the Championship Point by prioritising Customer Engagement today.
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- McKinsey http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/delivering-large-scale-it-projects-on-time-on-budget-and-on-value
- Consumer Action Monitor Jan 2017 – The Ombudsman Service Limited