The ramifications for companies that fail at the moment of service are significant. A quarter of consumers say they would abandon a brand after just one bad interaction and over half (52 percent) say they would never engage with a company after two or three negative experiences.
This is according to “Fixing the fundamentals: Understanding new business models and opportunities in the wake of Covid-19”—a new global study of more than 1,700 business executives and 12,500 consumers sponsored by IFS.
In a previous blog, I discussed the critical role of customer experience in building back strong in a post-pandemic world. Businesses have a limited opportunity to get it right, and if they neglect to assure the outcome of every single inflection point in their operation, they are gambling with their outcomes. They need to consider not only lost sales and reputation, but also the amplification effect of failure, and why a holistic understanding of their whole business is the corner stone of accomplishment.
It’s not, however, only the relationship with the individual customer that can be damaged by a poor experience. The consumer-oriented section of the research study showed that after a bad experience with a brand, 36 percent of people are very likely or somewhat likely to post about it on social media, while 46 percent are likely to post a negative review. As our title suggests, the vast majority (58 percent) said they were very likely or somewhat likely to share their bad opinions with their network—more than those who said they would feedback to the brand directly. As these findings highlight, a bad experience can be amplified across traditional and digital channels, fueling negative brand perception.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Over half (52 percent) are inclined to leave a positive review. This underscores just how much can be gained by focusing on delivering that exceptional moment of service, at which every internal process has taken place successfully, on time and on quality, to deliver the product or service exactly as the customer expects it.
To achieve this, companies must have a holistic view of the business, and the ability to carefully orchestrate customers, people, and assets. Here, the combination of technology and people—and the insight, intelligence, and empathy they provide—is a critical success factor.
Ensuring a reliable, excellent, and profitable moment of service is dependent on inflection points across the customer, product, or service lifecycle, making it everybody’s job. Almost 79 percent of respondents said 251 people or more around their organization touch processes that affect the customer experience. With these people working in different parts of the business, it is vital that companies have the ability to manage people and workflows across their entire operations.
The right tools
Legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, with its historical focus on manufacturing, inventory production and the initial sale, are, however, not enough. Instead, businesses must rethink their approach to enterprise applications.
Rather than adopting an inflexible ‘one-size-fits-all’ ERP platform, for example, companies must first understand which software capabilities they need to optimize their moment of service. Then, by adopting a composable model that mixes and matches different capabilities based on specific requirements, they can ensure they’re laser-focused on delivering outcomes. This in turn will fuel growth, which is evidenced by a number of respondents in the study, who said the ability to manage the aftersales period is more important than on-time delivery when it comes to customer experience.
Organizations need to think about what is core to their business and decide what software they need to move forward. They want as much capability as possible with as few applications as possible, which means best of breed for what is strategic and ‘suite’ for the rest.
To read more about designing for service and becoming outcome-based, download the report for free here.