Today, it is not uncommon for organisations to focus more on launching a product and forget about customer experience. Also, activities geared towards conducting a solution evaluation after a launch to understand issues experienced by their end-users can at best be an afterthought.
A plethora of literature exists, alluding to the fact that customers, existing and potential, are integral to the product design and development process. The customer’s engagement early in the design process mitigates the risk of problem-solution fit, which sadly bedevils many organisations today. The spate of failed or unsuccessful technology-based product/services begs whether organisations, including the leadership team, value the importance of customers besides earning revenue from them.
In the world of high-end and sophisticated technology, most leaders have lost focus on the presence of customer needs in user requirements. For payment-based solutions, leaders and project teams need to realise that a solution’s “moment-of-truth” occurs primarily at the payment point when a customer attempts to initiate or complete a transaction. Customers are likely not to have interaction if there is no complexity in getting value during payment. Consumers determine the growth of an organisation; user advertisement of a product is a driver to a firm’s customer base. In communication, end-user satisfaction spreads like the good news that drives the marketing of a product.
Leadership means providing the best and deepest answers, to your customers’ biggest questions, in the formats your audience likes to consume. It means creating solutions to customer’s common needs in a way that the customer prefers. It emphasises doing things the customer’s way. This process can help anyone involved in the business decision to gain alignment among their peers in the electronic payment industry they fall into or other industries. It allows businesses to define the category of their solution in customer terms. In other words, thought leadership is all about meeting the customer’s needs in the customer’s ways. Every business wants to provide a solution to its customers but not all of them are done with the customer as the main goal, a lot ignore the customer’s journey. Leadership thought shifts focus of service delivery from profit making to the customer which indirectly increases profit when executed properly.
The much-vaunted statement, “the customer is king,” still holds today. The ubiquitous nature of communication has amplified the customer’s influence. They are much more informed, assertive, discerning, and their tastes and demands change like the seasons. They drive business opportunities among other users. Gone are the days where payment firms largely dictated how markets move and what consumers want. Customers today KNOW what they want, and if they do not get it with, say, Company A, they have no qualms pivoting to Company B, C or wherever the need will be fulfilled. Brand loyalty and brand advocacy are precious luxuries in this day and age. Organisations that take proactive actions in conducting profitability analysis and customer studies often unlock the secrets to profitability and create loyal brand ambassadors (who often don’t need to be paid a single fee) and discover new opportunities that were previously untapped.
Many people have lost deals and contracts to competitors solely because they paid little or no attention to the customer’s needs. When you provide a payment solution to a customer’s needs and do it in a way that makes them happy, the customers stick with you, which in turn drives more profit for an organisation. A focus on profit is good; however, making a continuous profit as a business is the primary goal of every organisation and this can only be achieved by constantly providing solutions to customer’s needs as they evolve. Practices aimed at maximising customer satisfaction create a mutually reinforcing value chain, as happy customers continue to support companies that successfully meet their needs. In turn, the business reaps the benefit of increased revenue, which provides tangible and intangible benefits for employees. It enables the company to continue keeping customers happy and elongated with the company’s existence and products. Attention to the customer’s needs can build loyalty to the company, increasing long-term profitability through repeat sales and word-of-mouth referrals and customer retention. As leaders, product manager, payment solution delivery manager or any portfolio you manage that involve providing services, know that CUSTOMERS are in control.