Recently, Root Inc.--a company that deals in consulting on strategy execution—brought out its newest customer service solution designed to help businesses better keep the customers that said businesses already had on hand. Dubbed the “Customers for Life” solution, it's a plan that looks to keep the current crop of customers engaged by looking to stimulate the entire management chain.
Customers for Life was created, at last report, as the cumulative result of 15 years of insight into retail, hospitality business and commercial banking, all of which are businesses that are very focused on the customer itself. That provides a lot of insight into customer behavior, and how businesses can respond to those behavioral traits to generate an experience that's positive all around: an experience the customer will want to return to as needed. But Customers for Life doesn't so much focus on the customer as much as it focuses on the leadership, which in turn creates a focus on the customer.
That sounds oddly roundabout, but it makes sense on closer examination. What Customers for Life does, according to reports, is that it engages the managers of the company—the leadership elements—to focus on elements of the company that respond to customer needs and desires. Root Inc.'s senior vice president of client relations, Gary Magenta, explained, noting that leadership teams often aren't “...aligned on the customer strategy and culture they are trying to build.” Magenta further explained that the company's managers “...may not be empowered to act like owners and engage the frontline to do the right things for the customer.” Meanwhile, Magenta topped it off by noting that “the frontline is bombarded by conflicting priorities, policies, and procedures that can often prevent them from delivering an authentic experience for the customer.”
This all adds up, and cumulatively, can result in customers that are disengaged, and eager to find an experience that's more satisfactory to those customers. When the employees out at the front desk are trying to help a customer, but are forced to find a solution around multiple layers of rules, that can lead to less than satisfying conclusions. When managers can't expedite problems, or relax rules for the front-line crew, that doesn't help matters either.
That's where Customers for Life looks to step in with a three-point system, starting with getting the senior leadership on the same page: the customer's page. Focusing on the customer to provide the best results can in turn give rise to modified rules. Second comes the managers, and getting these folks to act as owners of the company, giving these people close to the front more authority to alter rules that looked good on paper but aren't working in real-world settings. Finally, the focus turns to the frontline, the tip-of-spear workers that are the business' first contact with the customer, and provides an understanding of how the frontline can provide the results to ensure the best customer experience.
What Root Inc. looks to do here seems to be in many cases change of a corporate culture. That's no small thing, but doing something like that is likely to prove welcome in the end for a lot of businesses out there. Welcome not only for those out to get new customers in, but hold on to those already in the door. It's a tough economy these days for all concerned; getting and keeping customers will help a business hold on for better times.