Anticipate Your Customer Needs and Expectations as a Part of Your Customer Experience
A friend of mine runs an organization that restores and renovates heritage buildings in the Chettinad region. Most buildings are easily more than 100 years old and measure about half an acre. They were built with some of the most exemplary architecture that the country has seen, and it is an amalgamation of traditional Indian architecture and various European styles.
They have multiple courtyards, typical entrances, richly carved wooden doors, carved pillars, and pitched roofs as a part of the architecture. They use Burma teakwood, Italian marbles, Aathangudi tiles, Belgium glasses, and stuccowork for the elevations. Almost all heritage houses follow the egg white plaster technique for the walls – this is what makes them look shiny like a mirror.
30% of the heritage houses in the region have been demolished for want of maintenance and restoration, as these are considered expensive. Of the remaining 70% of the homes, only 20% are in good condition, and the rest of them needs restoration and maintenance.
This restoration and maintenance is what this friend of mine provides as a service. He has fully qualified people who understand Chettinad architecture and the restoration principles. He has restored around 60 houses to date, and he works on at least 10 of them at any given point in time.
His love for Chettinad architecture is what made him offer these services. Now, he has made this into a mission to educate people about the need to preserve and restore this architecture. He goes around conducting workshops on restoration and construction principles.
Importance of anticipating customer needs and preferences
Every restored mansion needs constant maintenance for it to be functional and occupiable. Most people don’t stay in these mansions, and they are typically live outside the country or in some other city. So, when they came back after a year or two, the houses had issues related to plumbing, electric works, and general upkeep because of settled dust due to open courtyards.
That’s when my friend realized that this is a huge problem and needs to be addressed. He started offering a subscription service for the maintenance and upkeep of all facilities inside these mansions to make them liveable at any point in time. The subscription service includes regular care of all utilities inside the house besides keeping it tidy and clean.
While this subscription service helps generate additional revenue for this friend of mine, it helps the owners of the mansion feel happy about using their palatial homes when they visit their hometowns.
The customer satisfaction levels are high now, and they don’t mind paying for the experience.
How is this related to us?
We provide a contact center platform as a service to our customers.
We understood the challenges of our customer segment right at the beginning – they were getting services from various providers for their needs like the platform, voice, and hosting. Not a single vendor was responsible for the functioning of the contact center infrastructure, and when there was an issue, people started pointing fingers at each other.
We did not want our customers to go through this experience.
So, we bundled everything together – the platform, voice minutes, and the hosting and priced it all together on a per-minute basis. Now, we were responsible for the entire infrastructure, and our customers were happy working with us.
We have crossed the first hurdle in terms of positioning and offering.
Now, we realized that most of our customers wanted some form of customization on the platform to suit their workflow needs. They wanted integrations, alerts, notifications, red flag identification, analytics, and intelligence.
Our product management team looked at the most common needs and integrations and built them as a part of our platform. Despite these additions, there still existed customization needs from our customers.
Customers were paying through their noses for these customizations. That’s when we realized that this is something that the customers shouldn’t go through. So, we started throwing in customizations at no additional cost to our customers.
We were able to do this because our platform is architected in such a way that it is easily extendable and scalable. This has been a winner in the marketplace for us.
Like my friend who is restoring Chettinad architecture, we constantly keep looking at our customer needs – both stated and unstated. We try to incorporate them as a part of our offering and have conversations about it with our customers.
Today, we have happy customers who are satisfied with our experience.
After all, our platform is expected to help our customers provide the best possible experience to their end-users. Today, we have thousands of happy customers.
Would you like to share some of your customer experience stories?