Friday, March 8, 2013

Idea Gathering: Customer Congruency

Not just hearing, but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past.

Here on the blog, we'll be presenting weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views.

This week our focus is on Customer Congruency.
Steph Hyken defines customer congruency in a Business Exchange article saying describing it as “When what we promise and what the customer receives are thought to be the same”. Does your business deliver what it promises to deliver? When you say you have a commitment to great customer service are you really delivering that?

Customer congruency is an important part of any business and particularly their customer experience. Calculate customer congruency by evaluating what you offer to the customer, or claim to offer, then compare that to the actual customer experience. The difference (or lack of) reflects your customer congruency, great businesses strive to keep this difference as minimal as possible.

Customer congruency can come as a shock to some companies because it often reveals how little companies actually know about their customers and their customer’s experiences. This was highlighted in a study by the Stravity Group who polled company executives on the customer experiences at their respective companies. The poll consisted of three key questions which got pretty shocking results:
   1.) Do you know the average annual value of a customer to your business?
12.9% yes.  87.1% no
2.) Do you know the cost of a customer complaint to your business?
9.7% yes  90.3% no
3.) Do you know the cost of acquiring a new customer?
8.6% yes 91.4% no
Are you able to answer these questions about your own business? If you don’t even understand the value or experiences which customers are having with your business then it is impossible to determine your customer congruency. Even beyond customer congruency, understanding the value of your customers to your business is important to determining how you will be treating them.
If you found yourself unable to answer some of these questions, and/or know that others in your business would be unable then start with an intnernal survey. Find out exactly how much your employees know about the customer incudling their experiences and value. Compare that to external sureys or focus groups with actual customers and see just where your business stacks up.
Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs atFordham Nights and can be reached at

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