Inspiring business owners to make the customer experience a critical business strategy is at the heart of a new customer-focused advisory group – The Customer Edge.
Co-founders Andrew Thornton and Orla Tynan Babb have identified the reason that many businesses fail at Customer Experience Management is that they don’t start with the right mind set.
“It amazes me that many consulting firms still see the concept of Customer Experience Management as a technology based strategy. It is not,” Mr Thornton said.
“Whilst there is a role for technology, some of the best examples of successful Customer Experience Management come from businesses that have made little investment in IT. The hallmark of these businesses is their mindset and willingness to understand customer needs and to structure their business around meeting or exceeding those needs. When it comes to customer experience, the key is consistency.”
“In today’s fiercely competitive marketplace, effective Customer Experience Management can be a critical differentiator for any business – large or small. And, managed sincerely and consistently, can deliver highly tangible value to a business through repeat sales and referrals from satisfied customers. It results in a win-win for both the customer and the business,” Mr Thornton said.
A recent study undertaken by The Customer Edge of Australian businesses revealed that, while 100% of respondents said that a business would be more successful if it consistently met customer needs, only 30% stated that the company they worked in consistently met the needs of its customers.
“That’s a significant gap to overcome – but not insurmountable, given the right focus and approach. Many business owners and leaders want to close the gap, but they need guidance and support to do so,” Mr Thornton added.
However he said too many businesses addressed customer experience as a tactic rather than a whole of business approach.
Mrs Tynan Babb said The Customer Edge aimed to bring a fresh approach to helping businesses better manage the experiences of their customers.
“The notion of managing the customer experience as an effective business strategy is not new – but it is fundamental in today’s competitive marketplace.“
“What is different about The Customer Edge is that our focus is on inspiring business owners and leaders to adopt a focus on managing the customer experience as a critical business strategy. Importantly, it starts with having the right mindset – without that any attempt to implement a customer experience based strategy is likely to fail,” Mrs Tynan Babb added.
The Customer Edge adopts a true partnering approach to working with their customers. Refreshingly, they state that they do not have ‘consultants’ or ‘managers’ but inspirers who are keenly interested in the success of the clients business and mutual outcomes for their customers.
“Whilst we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes, we believe that small to medium enterprises are perhaps the best placed to embrace Customer Experience Management because they are typically closer to the customer, generally more agile and hence more able to adopt customer focused strategies and initiatives. Indeed, we were encouraged to establish The Customer Edge by several small to medium sized business leaders as they wanted to partner with an adviser that better understood their needs and the needs of their customers,” Mrs Tynan Babb said.