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Are you Customer-Obsessed? Here’s Why You Should Be

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Are you Customer-Obsessed? Here’s Why You Should Be

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in 1999 that what matters most to him is providing the best customer experience he can to his consumers. In the same interview, he added “If there’s one thing that is about, it’s obsessive attention to the customer experience end to end.”

Decades later, Amazon never wavered from their commitment to customer obsession. In fact, it’s listed first among the company’s leadership principles.

From retail to tech, customer obsession is a foundational mantra that helps businesses excel. Let’s explore why this is the case and how customer obsession can benefit your business.

What is customer obsession?

Customer-obsessed organizations care first and foremost about one thing: constantly optimizing the customer experience (CX). They work continuously to collect feedback, understand consumer needs, and improve every interaction. 

In doing so, businesses deploy a top-to-bottom customer-centric philosophy. From sales and marketing to frontline workers, the goal is to understand what consumers want and deliver on those needs in a way that doesn’t just satisfy customers, but delight them. 

More than a strategy, customer obsession is a business model. By generating trust, commitment and loyalty, organizations can build a sustainable competitive advantage that keeps customers coming back for more.

Why is customer obsession important?

Have you ever wondered just how costly a bad experience actually is?

According to recent research, nearly $4.7 trillion are squandered every year because of poor customer interactions. Furthermore, 74% of consumers say they’re likely to buy based on experience alone.

Bottom line: CX management is make or break. But, with a customer-obsessed mindset, you can steer your organization in the right direction. 

Here are a few ways a customer-obsessed philosophy can help drive better business results:

  • Retention: When consumers feel heard, seen, and valued, they’re more likely to stay with a brand over the long term. This is especially significant given that 71% of consumers switched brands at least once in the past year, often because of poor customer experience.
  • Lifetime value: Decreasing churn allows you to increase customer lifetime value—the total revenue a consumer generates over the duration of the brand relationship. By exceeding expectations and delivering on your promises, you can drive repeat purchases and cross-selling opportunities.
  • Acquisition: Over two-thirds of consumers are likely to recommend a company based on a single interaction. In short, satisfied customers are more willing to become brand advocates and refer others, thus increasing profitability and lowering cost-per-acquisition.
  • Reputation: Word-of-mouth spreads like wildfire. With a strong reputation for positive CX, you can earn more brand exposure, credibility, and organic growth—three assets critical to winning new customers and keeping them for the long haul.

While it’s undeniable that being customer-obsessed is critical to any business, a recent Forrester report found that only 3% of respondents were fully customer obsessed—meaning every department, every team, and every employee was fully dedicated to the customer’s point of view. 

Strategies to build a customer-obsessed organization

Customer obsession is a top-down commitment that requires buy-in across the org chart. It’s not going to happen overnight, but with a few strategic decisions, you’ll be off to the races in no time.

Here are a few valuable ways to build a more customer-obsessed organization.

Impart empathy to your contact center

Imagine calling into a support desk, waiting on hold for hours on end, repeating your issue over and over, and being redirected to the wrong departments. Finally, you’re speaking to the person who can fix your problem—unfortunately, they treat you like your problem doesn’t matter. That’s a bad customer experience

In a lot of ways, customer obsession is rooted in just the opposite. To be obsessed with your customer is also to be obsessed with empathy—for their feelings, their situation, and for where they may be in the customer journey. Coaching employees—especially your contact center agents–to flex their emotional intelligence can make a huge difference. Seek to understand customer pain points so that you can develop solutions and experiences that leave a positive impression on your audience.

One way to ensure agents are practicing empathy is to analyze their call transcripts. Some contact center solutions automatically transcribe conversations, allowing supervisors to comb through the content and uncover any points of improvement.

Embrace a customer-first culture

Place the customer at the heart of your company. Every decision, action, and process should be driven by a deep understanding of and commitment to meeting customer needs (and exceeding their expectations). 

Many enterprises are already focusing on this area. Take Cover-More—a global travel insurance company—for example. With over 15 million customers globally, Cover-More knew in 2019 that it would have to place the customer at the heart of everything. When the pandemic hit, the company’s forward-thinking paid off. Having already upgraded its contact center technology and communication stack, the enterprise was well-positioned to offer an omnichannel, seamless customer experience at every opportunity.

Enable continuous feedback loops

Feedback is the bedrock of customer experience management. To be truly customer obsessed, businesses must establish mechanisms and processes to collect insights from consumers at every touchpoint. These can include surveys, reviews, direct interactions—basically anything that synthesizes and gathers information. By analyzing these insights for root causes and customer sentiment, organizations can not only resolve issues more promptly, but optimize decision making based on how those resolutions are received. 

Prioritize data-driven decision making

They say data is the oil of the 21st century, so why not use it to fuel your business’s tenets for customer obsession? Because customer experience is so closely connected to bottom-line performance, any CX decision you make should be based on high-quality data.

One of the best ways to collect customer analytics is through a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) platform. CCaaS tools automatically synthesize cross-channel insights, allowing agents to take real-time actions to improve customer satisfaction.

Personalize the customer journey

Behind every consumer is an individual. Knowing this, customer-obsessed businesses aim to personalize CX by leveraging analytics. They use data to customize interactions, recommendations, and more, thereby adding a personal touch to every interaction. 

CCaaS tools are great in this regard, as they can help you gather data as customers move along their buyer’s journey. This allows you to map their progress through every interaction, ensuring a seamless experience across each channel. 

Author Bio

Robyn Rawlings is a successful marketing leader with over 20 years of experience in enterprise software and software-as-a-service (SaaS). She is currently Director of Integrated Campaigns and Content Marketing at Webex by Cisco, a leader in cloud calling, collaboration, and customer experience solutions.



B2B Customer Behavior is Changing. What Should Marketers Do?

If there’s anything the last decade has taught us—and that the COVID-19 pandemic punctuated in grand fashion—it’s that businesses must get digital, or they may become invisible. Branding—once an exercise that involved plastic signs, billboards, and newspaper print ads—has now firmly taken up residence in the world of bits, bites, smartphones, wearables, and, occasionally, a desktop computer.

The digital transformation—already fully ensconced when we dropped the ball in 2020—picked up considerable steam in the last year or so. Today, forward momentum in the digital strata is not just required—but mandatory—to assure business growth, especially in the B2B arena.

Customer behavior is changing

About 15 years ago, the one-two punch of social media and email campaigns entered the picture – and established a new method of showcasing your expertise as a means of getting people to look in your direction. Post Covid-19, a McKinsey study on B2B buyer preference showed how much of each phase of the buyer’s journey is being done online in a self-service way. The punch line: there has been a dramatic change in consumer behavior over the past 3 years.

In the research/education phase, there has been an 85% increase in the preference for B2B buyers to conduct their research online. In the evaluation stage, the results are even more dramatic: a whopping 238% increase in buyer preference for self-serve looking for information on the companies’ website.

The implications for a B2B marketer are huge. Now they must literally compete online, providing the information for which buyers are looking, and they need a comprehensive content strategy to win.

Learn how customers want to interact online

What the past decade taught us—and what COVID reiterated in the past couple years—is that the conversation around digital goes far beyond just plain awareness. In fact, the businesses that are the best at digital branding have constructed a lead generation machine around these capabilities. They’ve taken the knowledge of clients’ needs and wants and translated it into an incubation device that effectively appeals to this group.

So, what are some of the ways that you can change the thinking within your business to improve the success of your digital branding efforts? Here are four critical elements every marketer should master:

#1 Know The Decision Makers

In B2B in particular, you’ll often find multiple decision-makers involved in the buying process. That’s OK. This simply means  we have to appeal to each of their “decision journeys.” We have to understand their challenges and obstacles, whether they are a CFO or an engineer, etc. Invariably, they will have different selection criteria, success metrics, and the like.

#2 The “Amazon” Effect

With so much buying activity across the digital space during COVID, a remarkable thing has happened. Now, even B2B buyers want the same type of information and transparency in their professional lives as they get when they make personal purchases from Amazon. These buyers give a thumbs-up to live chat and clear, concise information; and a thumbs-down to having to dig for information, deal with technical issues, and to overly complex websites.

#3 Big M, Little m

It’s time to draw a solid, unbroken, line in the sand. Marketing today—with a capital M—relates to what we’ve mentioned here: real insights and strategies that will drive new business and grow your company. No longer is it satisfactory to lean on “little m” tactics, like pretty pictures that look gorgeous but say nothing.

#4 Marketers: The Business Development Rep’s Best Friend

No longer should marketers consider themselves an ancillary resource to more sales-oriented folk; they should take hands-on responsibility to ensure that their activities drive as many qualified leads to business development as possible. As important is to be in close coordination with business development so the leads that come in get the attention they deserve! Research shows that up to half of sales go to the partner or vendor that responds first. In the past, we’ve done a great job, as marketers, of saying we are experts, but then throwing the ball over the fence to business development. That’s an old way of doing things; now, we should be aligned and attached at the hip as we jointly journey further and further into the funnel. This includes being aligned on the funnel metrics that are used to measure efficacy and success.

Bottom Line

Time is of the absolute essence in today’s marketplace, and you must find that extra gear to operate your digital branding machine.  When you decide to turn on your digital machine, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for and to be ready to respond.

So, how is your company’s digital brand presence? Are you relevant or invisible? If you want to know, a digital audit—to see how your company stacks versus the competition—is a great place to start, and we are ready to help you.


Adriana Lynch is a Partner and CMO with Chief Outsiders, the nation’s fastest-growing executive-as-a-service company.


Why Trust with Customers will Reshape Tomorrow’s Industry Leaders

Consumers have a larger voice today, powered by a plethora of information sources and endless opportunities to voice their opinion on social media. As a result, modern businesses and their marketing arms realize they need more customer-centric approaches that foster more direct relationships through engagement and more personalized experiences. 

In order to accomplish this, businesses need a more direct pathway and visibility into each and every individual customer’s behaviors, needs, and preferences. Organizations have traditionally relied on third-party data to reach their customers, but changing regulations and the realization that this type of data cannot provide reliable insight into personalized preferences has left businesses looking for new and better options. 

Businesses are now building strategies to collect this personalized data through direct interactions with their customers, known as zero-party data or explicit first-party data. As a result, this process will result in greater trust between the customer and business and will foster more longer-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. 

Customers are willing to share personalized data with companies they trust 

For many years, businesses preferred the use of third-party data because they thought it was a more expedient and efficient way to reach consumers. However, consumers have demonstrated their willingness to provide personal information with businesses they perceive as trustworthy. This means that trust has become a leading business strategy for today’s modern businesses. 

Companies that establish a distinct line of trust with their customers will be able to collect highly personalized, unique information on each customer, and will build their own datasets for each customer – rendering their outdated third-party datasets useless or at best secondary to zero-party data. These modern businesses will quickly realize they have a clear competitive advantage within the markets they serve. 

Companies have been their own worst enemy 

There are a handful of reasons why this shift is taking place. As a result of hundreds of data breaches that have plagued businesses of every size, customers have become weary of the way in which companies use and mishandle their personal data. This has led to stricter regulations, such as the EU’s GDPR, California’s CCPA and many more, that impact how businesses are allowed to use their customers’ data. Many leading companies are now taking measures to change the way in which customer data can be collected, utilized and shared. 

This has resulted in drastic changes in data privacy, a byproduct of which includes, companies building more personalized relationships with their customers in the name of trust. 

What is zero-party data and how can companies collect this info 

Especially driven by today’s e-commerce and mobile device landscape, the most valuable data a modern marketer or business can have comes directly from customers themselves. Personalized information shared directly from a customer to an organization is referred to as “Zero-Party” data. 

Zero-party data is highly personalized insight a customer intentionally, directly, and proactively provides to a brand because they have built a level of trust with that company. This personalized insight may include preferences, insights, profile data or consents, and how the individual wants the business to engage them. 

What’s in it for the customer? 

Why are customers willing to share such personal and private details with companies? Because it results in a better, more personalized experience with a brand. Think of a beauty products maker that can send emails, texts, and promotions that speak directly to the unique needs of a customer who has specific allergic sensitivities to his or her skin. These types of modern marketing promotions illustrate to the customer that the company is truly listening to their needs, and in return that customer will show a higher level of engagement to the marketing messages. Like a snowball rolling downhill, once this company can demonstrate they are truly listening to this customer’s unique needs, the customer builds trust with the company and is willing to continue sharing even more of their data over time. 

Customers become more satisfied because the brand is doing a much better job of meeting their needs, and they reward the brand with loyalty, advocacy, and bigger purchases. Each time there is a successful data-value exchange between the business and customer, it positively reinforces the relationship and incrementally strengthens customer trust which increases their propensity to share more data. And the cycle continues. 

These modern brands recognize the powerful voice customers now have today. They also recognize the quickly changing regulatory environment and are rapidly adapting to the new ways of customer engagement through trust and personalization. These modern brands will take a leadership position – no matter the size of their company – and shape the way entire omnichannel-driven industries operate in the future. 


As PossibleNOW’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Consulting, Jeff provides thought leadership related to the deployment and utilization of zero-party data (customer consents, preferences, and insights). He handles executive management responsibilities for pre-sales, strategic consulting, and implementation services. He helps customers identify pain points, craft solutions unique to their needs, and provides guidance across the implementation and assessment processes.  

Jeff has a broad and extensive background in domestic and international business environments across myriad industries. He has held executive positions with FreebeePay, Agentek, SupportSoft, and CoreNetworks and management positions with Mosaix, Sequent Computer and IBM, helping companies drive business growth, develop high-performance sales and service organizations and implement process best practices. 

data analysis

3 Ways Data Analysis Can Refine the Customer Experience

Nowadays, you have to understand what the customers need if you want your business to succeed and grow. If you don’t put some effort into doing that, you might miss out on crucial details about what customers are looking for in businesses. It will force them to look for other alternatives. In this article, we’ll discuss three ways to use data analysis to help your business boost customer loyalty, among other things.

Customer Experience and Why It’s Vital in Business

Customer experience is the customer’s interaction with your business at different touchpoints. It refers to how customers will engage with your online ads, websites, mail, social media, commercials, visiting your store, phone calls, buying and using your products and services, etc.

So, customers always think about the kind of experience a company offers before checking on the quality of goods. It means that if your business offers great products but sucks at offering excellent customer experience, then people will start buying from your competitors. Therefore, you must always do some data analysis to ensure your business delivers exactly what the customers want.

Your customers will always observe a brand’s performance and compare it to their expectations. So, every interaction a customer has with your business and its products leaves a long-lasting impression, which then creates a certain opinion about your company. It explains why it is vital to keep a customer’s needs first to help get better results at the end of the day.

Many companies now agree that using data analysis helps boost customer experience hence more sales. However, measuring customer experience and applying it to your business to get results are two different things, and most businesses struggle with the former.

So, how do you measure customer experience effectively?

There is no one perfect way to measure the customer experience. However, here are the three most effective ones you can trust:

1. Customer satisfaction (CSAT) – It method involves reaching out to your customers after a certain sale, asking them to rate the service. You will get results ranging from not satisfied to very satisfied.

2. Net promoter score (NPS) – In this one, you ask a customer to rate your business on a numerical scale. Here is the most common one you might have come across, “How likely are you to recommend us?”

3. Customer effort score (CES) – It one helps to find out how much effort a customer needs to fulfill a certain task on, let’s say your website. Most businesses use a defined scale to do this, which also acts as a small survey. It contains options such as I agree, and I strongly disagree.

Redefining Customer Experience Through Data Analysis

Once you have mastered how to capture customer data and measure their experience, you can improve your services and delivery. These are some of the ways how data analysis refines customer experience.

1. It Helps You Understand How to Respond to Your Customer’s Needs Intelligently

Quality data is the biggest foundation of developing a great consumer experience. Customers and prospects usually generate a lot of data by engaging in different online activities, especially when engaging with your business.

Most leading businesses today tap their prospect or customer data from the activities generated through indirect or reseller channels.  You can gain some insight by combining the views of your data sources with detailed demographic information.

The first step you must take is developing a good strategy to help you access and integrate customer data. Choosing to focus on one touchpoint to get data can be a good idea, but it’s always best to try and use several sources. The main goal is to understand one common view that all customers have. It will give you a good view of your customers’ experiences and interactions across different channels. That way, you can easily respond intelligently to what your customers need.

With this information, you can easily determine the relevant goods and services your customers need from your business. A link building agency can also help to bring more targeted potential customers to your website, who you can then study to see what you can do to win their loyalty.

You can also work with your IT experts to help turn the customer data into an EDW (Enterprise Data Warehouse) that will serve different functions or servers. However, most businesses find this quite challenging, not just technically but also financially.  Luckily, there are pre-configured platforms you can use today to help make the data consolidation easier.

Therefore, you should evaluate some relevant approaches to determine which one is more relevant. Also, check for one that can provide the best data to better fulfill the customers’ needs.

2. It Helps You Determine Customer Behavior

Predictive analysis can allow you to anticipate your market and customer behavior and respond accordingly. Its analysis involves data mining or statistical tools and methods that help to develop predictive models. OLAP and BI are some of the most effective systems you can use as they enable you to assess past and current events.

So, doing data analysis can help you employ excellent tools and methods to explore patterns and trends in data to determine things that can happen if certain factors change. With that information, you can easily tell what most customers have in common, making it easier to fulfill their needs.

Some predictive analytics solutions can also use software computing power and automation to help you get insights faster. Using powerful algorithms can help mine plenty of data and rapidly analyze patterns, correlations, and affinities. Additionally, combining software automation with great data access can help your company evaluate performance more effectively.

You can see much success by implementing some predictive data analysis using data sources such as transactions or any other application data. Doing this can help your personnel in stores, contact centers, or those managing e-commerce sites to easily adjust marketing offers accordingly.

3. Helps Build Better Customer Relationships

A good company-clients relationship is a vital factor you must always consider if you want your business to thrive. Data analysis provides you with different ways to build a great one. If you want to be the go-to business for people looking for the services you offer, you must be a good listener. What does that mean?

You can use social media to help conduct some sentiment analysis, which can show you how customers regard your services. You can also check your help-tickets to see what your customers complain the most about. This information can show you where to improve hence allowing you to provide exactly what people need and better customer experience.

Some customers might also indicate in the help ticket the kind of services they expected to find from your company but didn’t. You can use this data to ensure your company has everything customers in your niche are looking for.

A good example is how a shoe store can observe the size of shoes that get more purchases or those that get many returns. That way, they can easily ensure the highly demanded product is always available hence boosting the customer experience because they never miss what they planned to purchase.

Summing it Up

We are living in a world where everything is analyzed. Your customers look at how you treat your clients and the quality of the goods you sell. You must always make data analysis a huge part of your business because it allows you to study crucial trends in the market and your customer’s behavior. Doing this helps to understand everything you need to do to ensure you meet people’s demands.

When customers visit your business to purchase a good or service and get what they need, you automatically become their favorite place because you have proven to be reliable. However, if potential clients come to you and don’t get something they wanted or your employees don’t act professionally, then you can easily lose them. Since you cannot provide customers with the great customer experience they expected, your competition will take over.