Home Intel A CMOs Role in Customer Experience: Interview With Tony Lynch

A CMOs Role in Customer Experience: Interview With Tony Lynch

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CMOs role in Customer Experience

The future of customer experience and brand engagement is being driven by AI and tech, but who is really taking ownership of the new practices and leading the change?

Savage Marketing connected with Tony Lynch of Keep Thinking Big and is a business development coach, trainer & speaker helping business leaders enhance their team engagement, performance, productivity and profitability.

Tony LynchJC: Chief Marketing Officers ( CMOs) are beginning to take ownership of customer experience in their organisations. What must CMOs be aware of to make it a positive change?

TL: Jason, great question. I believe it all boils down to engaging and listening to your customers. Whether you are a CMO, CEO or someone else in authority, it is imperative for you to have a process in place for listening to your customers.

When you listen, you have a powerful opportunity to really learn about your customer. What the are saying, their needs and desires for today? This isn’t simply looking at statistics from 12-24 months ago, but addressing the real-time specific needs going on right now.

Too many businesses struggle because they got stuck in what worked in the past. As technology and our culture advances, what was successful in the past may be irrelevant today. When you establish ongoing engagement and opportunities for feedback with your marketplace and customers, you are able to adapt your business to the changes that take place with any growth. When you listen, you can learn. And when you learn, you can lead.

This is how change can be powerful – when it’s intelligent change, educated on the needs and interests of your clients. Remember your three Ls: Listen, Learn & Lead.

JC: Why is it important for CMOs to understand the role of sales in customer experience?

TL: It’s critical! With no customers, clients or guests, you have no business!
Every business, no matter what its size, requires some element of having a customer. Good, average, big or small companies all have to offer some form of customer experience. If there is nothing for them to buy into, is it really a business at all? Business involves exchange of some sort – what someone else wants and what you have to offer.

Sales is a huge component of this. Before you even have a customer, they have to know, like and trust you. This is where your sales strategies come in. How are you building rapport and trust, plus identifying the needs of your customers? This is over 50% of the sales process, yet so often businesses jump straight to the last 30% of the process – product knowledge and closing the sale.
If you base your customer experience on those top ingredients for effective selling – identifying the needs of your customer and establishing trust and rapport, then you not only have customers in the first place, but they keep coming back to you.

You may also be interested in our interview with Eva Wimmer of Honor/ Huawei Overthrowing Samsung and Apple: Honor, For The Brave

JC: Are there any CMOs who have improved their company customer experience and integrated sales efficiency, and how did they go around about this?

TL: This is an interesting question – yes there are definitely CMOs who have been able to do this.
Poor customer experience can lead to inefficiency within teams. When you focus on a great customer experience where feedback and a two-way relationship is essential, you see greater efficiency, engagement, productivity and profitability. If you want success in your business, upgrade your customer experience and engagement. Failure to do this will lead to failure in business.

JC: Customer care is very important in this day and age, but there are still so many companies out there who do a bad job. Why is that? Are there any good examples you can share?

TL: In the words of John C. Maxwell, “Everything rises and falls upon leadership.” Poor leadership leads to poor growth, whereas good leadership leads to good growth. Good leadership is at the heart of customer care.

Where companies miss the mark is when they are so focused on the product, systems or marketing that they don’t have the bandwidth in their company to follow through with the full customer experience.

Customer care isn’t dealt with by a small department. The forward-thinking companies that attract new audiences, it is oftentimes based on the fact that customer care is built into their DNA – it’s the fabric of their company. As they deliver, their customers become their raving fans, spread the word about the business, and become the best marketers they can have for their product.
I am always impressed by Disney World with their customer care. Their goal is to have every customer – or guest, as they describe them – has an outstanding experience. They strive to leave them with something that lasts way beyond the exit gate – something they will always remember.
Can you say the same for your company? Could you put a strong process in place for this to happen? Having attended a Disney customer care experience course, I gained valuable insights on how they produced such a strong and robust customer care experience. Now, this has become a world-class standard to strive for.

JC: Customer care has become as much of a baseline as having a website these days. What is your number one tip for CMOs trying to push more customer care at the company?

TL: I work with many companies and groups that realise the importance of distinguishing between the needs and desires of the client.

Often, we hear that good customer care is all about meeting your clients’ needs. However, there is a distinctive shift in the marketplace. Yes, meeting your customers’ needs is important. However, that only gets you halfway.

Simply reacting to the known need of a client will help at first, but may lose its luster along the way. The why, when and how buyers purchase changes over time. Busier lives lead to changes in buyer habits. You have to stay relevant by listening, learning and leading the change that is needed. This is how you build a strong and successful business.

It is not just about identifying the need, but distinguishing the needs versus the desires. Put your time, energy, money and strategy into learning about the desires your customers may not have even identified as a need yet.

As you help customers to identify their desires and shift them to what they need, you gain greater loyalty from customers who will come back to you again and again.

Tony has spoken in multiple countries, is a TEDx speaker, as well as being featured by INC in ‘100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference’. You can reach him  through www.keepthinkingbig.com

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