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You get the customers you deserve

Our Chief Executive Louise Swain spoke about how the sector can make changes to how it delivers services, to create real and meaningful customer-centred cultures at today’s CIH South West conference.

“Building a good customer experience does not happen by accident, it happens by design”

Across the sector I see how lack of customer choice has led us to be late adopters to consumer revolution.  Our mindset towards customers has been ‘one fit’, in a way that’s intuitive more so than data-driven. Often it’s our social purpose that leads to complex, unambiguous, strategy, plans and measures that matter.

At Alliance, we recognise that designing our services around our customers is vital. We know that it drives value – as every touch point costs money – and that it’s not about giving a ‘gold plate’ service, it’s about having products that are fit for purpose and a service experience that creates advocacy.

Over the last couple of years we’ve raised our aspirations and are now looking at how we can transform how we run our business by putting customers at the heart of it.

Our 10 steps to achieve this are:

  1. Putting customers and performance at the core of our culture
  2. Ensuring we offer a consistent high-quality experience across the board
  3. Serving our customers at the first point of contact, with specialists available for extra assistance
  4. Using data to inform our strategy and when making business decisions by predicting customer behaviour
  5. Designing services to meet our customers’ needs and aspirations by using our data to better understand their motivations
  6. Planning services primarily for the majority of our customers, with additional support for those that might need it
  7. Offering clarity on supporting processes, like how we manage customer complaints
  8. Achieving value-for-money and eliminating waste by having slicker processes
  9. Adopting new technologies to support our services internally, and our digital offer to our customers
  10. Allowing for expansion and growth, to do more for more people.

I see these 10 steps as Alliance adopting approaches used in other sectors to really affect change. I want to see us stopping seeking reassurance against sector measures and start hearing what our customers say as the most important indicator for whether or not we’re truly making a difference to the lives of our communities.