Unlocking Customer Inspired Growth at C-Space
What does it mean to act more human?
This is the question guiding C-Space's #CQ17 study on Unlocking Customer Inspired Growth which lays out that the challenges facing future businesses rely on our ability for introspection, hard listening, and critical thinking.
The thesis of the summary seems simple : (1) more human companies are consistently outperforming the market and (2) customers stand with companies that stand for something.
As a retail strategy firm we agree that while numerous articles and studies underline that customers determine the fate of companies, surprisingly few retailers have invested the time and energy into activating their customer's needs, lifestyle's, aspirations, and behavioral patterns into their business model. "Although CEOs recognize the importance of being more customer focused, there remains a wide gap between CEOs’ aspirations and the success of their “customer centricity” efforts. This is largely because the ways companies operate conflict with the ways customers process and behave. Companies operate rationally, focusing on creating a profitable, smoothly running machine, whereas customers operate emotionally, guided by their habits, comfort, and feelings." This chasm routinely limits growth potential, because the more customers see a retailers self-interest bleed through, the more they search out alternatives.
#CQ17 points out that "Customers want their relationships with their retailers to have the same qualities they value in their personal relationships – qualities like trust, respect, empathy, openness, and reciprocity. By failing to recognize and act on these relationship qualities, companies spend more to acquire and retain increasingly indifferent customers, resulting in slow growth and a declining return on assets." Anyone in marketing will agree that it's more expensive to earn new customers than retain customer loyalty but for companies to truly capture the hearts of both audiences, they have to invest in the same kind of relationship upkeep that we do as humans. The result? What C Space calls 'Customer Inspired Growth', a simple concept of reciprocal relationships; of customers influencing companies and companies influencing customers.
Download the full study here