Journey to customer enthusiasm

One of the buzzwords in marketing and sales is “acquisition.” Budgets are provided relatively easily for this purpose. But what about pre-existing clients? How can first-time buyers be turned into enthusiastic regular customers? In ideal cases, the latter will even do some of the acquisition of new customers themselves by recommending products or services—with high credibility and at no cost.

New studies by Porsche Consulting reveal that many companies could make much better use of their “customer capital.” They often allow their attention to customers and service to slack off in the critical phases following a purchase. Yet the best opportunities are found precisely in the field of after-sales. “Managers are amazed at how many unused touchpoints we find when we analyze their customer relations in detail,” says David Blecher, head of the Service Excellence division at Porsche Consulting. The greatest potential for achieving noticeably higher levels of customer satisfaction and follow-up business lies in comprehensive management of touchpoints. The aim here is to coordinate the different steps from initial contact to warranty service in such a way that customers always have an individual experience.

Modern technologies can generate seamless documentation and therefore also individual customer profiles. A “customer journey manager” can track these interactions and define best-practice measures for each step. Individual touchpoints are used most effectively when the information acquired flows in seamless and targeted ways into shaping subsequent interactions. Key indices such as recommendation rates and repeat purchase probabilities/time points can be defined very precisely with the help of complex algorithms. Marketing and sales are not the only areas responsible for unique customer experiences. IT, finance, and operations are also called upon to contribute. Often this requires a new organizational structure or even a new, customer-oriented business model.