5 Ideal Customer Intimacy Strategies That Never Fail
Customer Success

5 Ideal Customer Intimacy Strategies That Never Fail

Discover some effective customer intimacy strategies that empower organizations to reach their day-to-day customer support targets and beyond.

Sanjoli Jain

06-07-2021

8 Min

Many companies suffer from modern-day problems in this high-paced world of business. Problems like customer retention and gaining customer trust continue to hinder businesses’ progress, now more than ever. Companies are already spending an extraordinary amount of resources on delivering the best for their customers. Staying ahead in the market and adjusting to the newest trends has become more important.

Yet, the real challenges lie in keeping a customer-centric mindset for business growth. Maintaining a customer-centric mindset is easy in the beginning. But as your company grows and expands exponentially, it becomes a bit difficult. When companies do not connect closely with their customers, loyalty and revenue take a hit.

In such a scenario, customer intimacy strategies come out as the ultimate savior. Fostering a customer-centric approach along with implementing a customer intimacy strategy creates a positive experience for clients. Without these strategies, your support can become expensive and time-consuming. Today, we’re going to discover some effective customer intimacy strategies that help organizations reach their day-to-day customer support targets and beyond.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is Customer Intimacy: A Brief Introduction

Customer intimacy is a business strategy based around high attention to customer needs. It measures a company’s alignment and prioritization of those needs. This may involve close contact and outreach to customers across a range of different channels.

In layman’s terms, intimacy simply means “closeness”. For customer intimacy strategies to work, the re-alignment of your entire organization is required. It is a business strategy that seeks to understand specific client needs.

Customer intimacy fosters customer-driven revenue growth for the business. In their book, The Discipline of Market Leaders, strategy experts Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, mention:

No company can succeed today by trying to be all things to all people. It must instead find the unique value that it alone can deliver to a chosen market.

Important Value Discipline

Customer Intimacy: Most Important Value Discipline

Why is it Important?

You might think that customer intimacy strategies are some nice-if-you-have-it but not a necessary aspect. Well, you’re wrong! It is as important as your core products and services. Why not proactively provide more value and increase your customer loyalty when you can do it by implementing a few strategies?

Customer intimacy strategies reduce customer churn. Alongside your primary products and services, customer intimacy strategies provide an opportunity for you to provide value to your customers in a way that precisely caters to their needs. Your ability to do this effectively is what customer intimacy is all about.

Example:

In their book, Treacy and Wiersema talk about a company that uses a ‘customer intimacy’ strategy at their home improvement store chains across the United States.

Few things in the chain stores of Home Depot Stores are straight off similar. For example, the size of every store is almost two football fields. All products are neatly organized and numbered. They have plenty of helpful staff as well. Their in-store customer support employees spend a lot of time helping customers resolve their home improvement issues. This simply reflects their business strategy and shows how it revolves around the customers’ needs.

Let’s have a look at some effective ways to improve customer intimacy:

5 Effective Ways to Improve Customer Intimacy

After understanding what customer intimacy entails, it is now time to initiate and implement the process of transforming into a customer-intimate company. Let’s take a look at effective ways to do that:

1. Understand Your Customer Needs

Taking your customer’s needs into account is the core philosophy of customer intimacy. This is followed by developing a solution that is entirely in line with their demands. Alongside, serving a consistent and memorable experience throughout is also important.

63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations, while 76% of B2B buyers expect the same. Companies that meet every customer demand on time are likely to seize a larger share of the pie. Hence, you need to identify what matters to your customers and what they expect from your business. You can accomplish this by using various methods like:

I. Customer Journey Analysis

Analyze your customer’s engagements and journey with your business. This will help you gain insights into their likes, dislikes, pain points, etc. You can identify their specific needs that you might have otherwise missed.

II. Market Research

Study your market and stay in touch with its latest trends. Conduct a competitor analysis from time to time. This will tell you exactly what you need to do to improve your business.

III. Social Listening

Customers of the digital era are likely to be discussing their needs on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can monitor your direct and indirect brand mentions and buzzwords in your industry.

When the goal of customer intimacy is about forming long-term relationships, understanding customer needs is one of those must-have strategies. Furthermore, anticipating and recognizing client needs will help you deliver tailor-made products and services.

2. Tailor-Made Products And Service

Creating personalized experiences is a direct reflection of how flexible and responsive you are to your client’s needs. Here a few ways in which you can personalize your product, service, and customer experience:

I. Give Customers More Autonomy

Empower your customers to make decisions autonomously. For example, Nissan Motor allows its customers to choose the engine model, color, interior and exterior details of the vehicle according to their preferences. Who wouldn’t want that?!

This initiative is predicted to boost Nissan’s after-sales revenue to contribute to 25% of total sales by 2022.

Nissan Motor

Personalization Offered by Nissan Motor

This strategy is about giving our customers more choices and new services to make the ownership experience better. It will also help us expand our connected car, big data, and personalization innovations to improve the customer experience and open up new revenue streams for the company.

Kent O’Hara

Nissan Corporate Vice President and Head of the Global Aftersales Division

II. Segment Your Base

Individually meeting each of your customer’s needs might get challenging for companies with a large customer base. Sometimes, even impossible. In such a scenario you can segment your customers and tailor your offerings to each segment. Segmentation can be done on the basis of location, business size, age groups, specific needs, and so on.

For example, Zappos launched a range of shoes specifically for the differently-abled. The Single & Different Size Shoes Program, enables customers to buy a single shoe or build a pair using different sizes.

Different Size Shoes Program by Zappos

The Single & Different Size Shoes Program by Zappos

This initiative by Zappos would not have been possible without customer intimacy being a core element of their company culture, which brings us to our next takeaway.

3. Build a Customer-Centric Culture

To transform into a customer-intimate company the entire organization needs to come together. Each and every employee needs to contribute throughout the process. Only collectively, you can bring together a culture with customers at the heart of every decision-making.

Jeff Bezos, the Founder of Amazon, is known for leaving an empty chair in meeting rooms. This is to symbolize the importance of keeping the customer’s needs and thoughts in the discussions. This way customers can be treated as partners rather than mere transactions.

Prioritize Personalized Customer Service

A customer-intimate business focuses on personalizing every aspect of customer experience. Even post-sale customer services. Studies say that 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.

A personalized customer service experience ensures the customer feeling that your brand truly understands them and knows what they want. To serve a personalized customer experience, the more you know about the customer, the better. Information like previous orders, details like name, location, etc. can help your agents provide more contextual and accurate assistance.

4. Use Analytics To Measure Customer Intimacy

Working towards becoming a more customer-intimate company is just the beginning. You constantly need to measure your efforts and keep analyzing to see if you’re on the right track or not. Here are the three key metrics that will help you measure customer intimacy:

I. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The customer lifetime value is a measure of profits that your company makes from a given customer. This can be calculated by adding up a total revenue earned from a customer and subtracting the initial cost from that total amount.

II. Churn Rate

The churn rate simply states the number of customers that stop doing business with a company. Customer churn rate helps you identify why customers are leaving. This metric is calculated as a percentage of customers your company has lost over a given time period. If the number is higher, you need to find out the reasons and change your strategies to reduce it.

III. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score measures your customers’ willingness to recommend your company’s products and services to others. NPS helps you understand whether your customers are satisfied with your products or not. It is a good indicator of how loyal your customer base is.

The NPS is a 10-point scale that is calculated based on the response to the question: “how likely are you to recommend < brand name > to your friends or family?” or even a set of questions. Although the former question is largely popular.

5. Invest in Customer-Focused Tech Solutions

Nowadays, companies use various customer service tools and techniques to gain a competitive edge and build customer intimacy strategies. Businesses need to make sure that they do not miss out on serving personalized experiences to even a single customer.

Customer-intimate support has also expanded its demands; it is not just about resolving customer queries. Businesses constantly need to look out for trends and roadblocks and analyze their customer support. They need to invest in the latest tools to analyze their support from time to time to be better prepared.

Hence, adopting a technological tool that lets you do all this from a single unified interface is utterly necessary. Plus, you will need to access customer data repeatedly to perform various analytics tasks. In order to improve or build customer intimate culture these are the must-have features of your customer support solution:

I. Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics features in customer support software help you understand customer behavior and enable you to make data-driven decisions. With large-scale customer data metrics, you can gain actionable insights. This way, you can get a complete 360-degree view of your support performance.

Later with the help of this data, you can evaluate your customer intimacy strategy to design better customer experiences. You can also use this data to predict the behavior of prospective clients.

II. Collaborative Issue Management

As we mentioned earlier, team collaboration is a must in building customer-intimate culture, hence enabling collaboration within the team is important. If your agents cannot collaborate effectively, that might lead to chaotic and unnecessary communication.

While selecting a helpdesk ticket software, look for features like shared inboxes that let the agents comment or chat within the tickets. It must provide shared ownership that gets everyone involved. You can let your agents know and view if someone else is viewing or replying to the ticket through collision detection features.

III. Omnichannel Communication

If you only use one support channel, it might get difficult for you to provide personalized support. Omnichannel communication enables you to engage with your customers across channels of their choice from a single interface. You can set up well-orchestrated workflows across email, phone, social media, and so on.

You can leverage multiple channels to respond readily. This also improves your sales opportunities, brings down the overall cost, and accelerates your efficiency.

Build Your Customer Intimacy Strategy with DeskXpand

Thankfully, technology has made it easier for businesses to improve their customer responsiveness and cater to their needs in a personalized manner. If you’re looking to manage your online reputation, identify at-risk customers, make your support customer-intimate, and improve customer responsiveness, Biztech’s DeskXpand would do you well.

DeskXpand is an automated, omnichannel customer service software that helps companies deliver a cohesive, and flexible customer experience across various channels. We are ISO27001 certified customer support solution providers with 14+ years of industry experience. We aim to help brands achieve complete visibility and attain a high-resolution rate through customer support software. So, would you like to take a trial?

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