What does it mean to be ‘hooked on customers’, and what are practical ways to create enduring customer relationships?
I recently interviewed Bob Thompson, CEO of Customer Think Corp, about these topics on my Doing CX Right podcast (episode 54) to help you understand the importance of being “hooked on customers, based on Bob’s best-selling book.
During the podcast episode, we explore customer-centric businesses, examine the ways they implement strategies, and provide actionable advice for you to outperform your competitors. CX success does not occur overnight or automatically but rather happens when individuals and teams intentionally put customers first and on a consistent basis.
Bob explains that “learning to let your actions do the talking can be revolutionary to a company that struggles to create enduring customer relationships. People who own, operate, manage, or otherwise lead a company always look for ways to improve productivity, beat the competition, and ensure long-term success.”
Talking is cheap. Leading legendary customer-centric business leaders do not just sit around the decision-making table and discuss ideas. Best-in-class brands are what I call Doing CX Right®. And implementing key actions that Bob outlines as follows:
- LISTEN to customers’ values and feedback.
- THINK about the implications of fact-based decisions on customers
- EMPOWER employees with the freedom they need to please customers
- CREATE new value for customers without being asked
- DELIGHT customers by exceeding their expectations
There are no quick fixes. Customer-centricity takes time, determination, and company-wide commitment.
It must be maintained and constantly pursued to ensure that CX becomes part of the fabric of a business. You can have an altruistic company that’s profitable too. One doesn’t replace the other.
In fact, Wendy Smith, a professor at the University of Delaware Business School, educates about the power of “Both/And” thinking. Our brains love to make either-or choices, we choose one option over the other. Yet, there’s a better way through Both/And thinking. We can express our individuality and be a team player. We can manage the core business while also innovating for the future. These competing and interwoven demands don’t need to be a source of conflict.
Check out Wendy’s extensive research on strategic paradoxes and how leaders and senior teams can effectively respond to contradictory yet interdependent demands >here.
I hope you’ll listen to my interview with Bob Thompson, which is also available to watch on YouTube too. There are a lot of valuable gems discussed to help you gain a competitive advantage, so take notes.
Bob and I welcome your feedback.
Tell us if you do anything differently as a result of our information shared. Curious to know which companies you think are hooked on customers and customers are hooked on those brands? My immediate answer is Trader Joes, a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores who has been transforming grocery shopping since 1967. Trader Joes motto is “simply put, every time a customer shops with us, we want them to be able to say, “Wow! That was enjoyable, and I got a great deal. I look forward to coming back!”
That is precisely how I feel every time I visit the store. I’m forever hooked!