There is not a single enterprise in the world that doesn’t have client centricity at the core of how it defines itself. What differentiates some from others is to what extent they take that client centricity.
The most extreme form is what we at Genpact call… a maniacal focus on clients!! By that I mean doing whatever it takes to truly delight clients… not getting bound by contractual obligations or service level agreements… but taking decisions that deliver value to the client even though the decision may hurt you as an enterprise.
Here’s an example. A few years back we started an initiative called ‘Destroy Your Revenue’ where we told about 200 people in the company who served a strategic client, that let's say your revenue is a million dollars a year. If they could come up with ideas that actually reduced the bill for the client (by eliminating work, finding ways to do it differently) then their revenue and the company’s revenue would go down, and that’s fine because we would have added value to the client. The initiative was a success and we got tons of ideas that contributed to actually destroying our revenue. Here’s what happened next… the client fell in love with us… gave us more business… and we grew faster than ever before!
Most importantly, being maniacal means going above and beyond customer satisfaction (which is basic hygiene) to turning clients into passionate loyalists for life. because as we all know companies that ignore loyalty tread thin ice when it comes to financial success!! Given the link between loyalty and increased market share… higher revenue… lower costs, it’s critical to invest time and resources into developing loyalty programs. Building loyalty is critical at any point, but it takes on added meaning in today’s volatile world. Customers are more fickle these days… their expectations are greater. An effective loyalty strategy is not merely about keeping customers at all costs… it’s about developing loyalty among the most valuable customers. Therefore, it’s important to constantly relook at and realign the strategy guiding loyalty programs… and align it to the organization’s marketing strategy … because attraction and retention of clients go hand in hand.
The way to do this is have a dedicated customer loyalty and retention function and then use the data from that program to form the basis of the strategy guiding it. And then define the customer lifecycle and align to it their loyalty and retention efforts. It’s not about revenue creation…it’s about creating value that leads to revenue creation!! Companies need to focus on building value for clients that turns them into true evangelists and advocates – research shows that loyal customers spend more, become brand advocates and are much less likely to succumb to the overtures of competitors – that beats any marketing strategy hollow!!
At Genpact, we invest heavily in measuring, monitoring and building client delight and loyalty, at a granular level. So twice a year, we ask about 5,000 people in our client organizations whether or not they would promote us to others. We don’t just ask ‘are you satisfied with what we do for you’ but ‘will you promote me and what we do to other organizations?’ This is the Net Promoter Score methodology which is based on the theory that ‘willingness to recommend’ is a strong indicator of loyalty and growth…because when clients recommend you, they’re putting their reputations on the line. And they’ll take that risk only if they’re intensely loyal and believe in your value.
We drive the NPS methodology and its learning across the entire organization in a very structured and granular manner and we’ve been doing this for several years now. In fact, NPS is the most important metric that business performance is measured on – it’s embedded in all our processes, depicted visually across the floors, forms the criteria for rewards and recognition and is ingrained in every employee. As a result, we are at a historic high of 64% NPS which puts us at 1.8x of the market average. A recent Satmetrix study showed that average B2B & B2C NPS across mid- senior- CXO levels has been in the range of 23-24%.
In fact we’re now taking the NPS methodology over to the employee side of things to measure engagement (vs. satisfaction) and use that as the benchmark of how employees measure us… how we prioritize employee investment… and it makes sense doesn’t it…Clients and employees actually exist in a virtuous circle, where one drives the other. Investing in employees and empowering them can lead to increased employee engagement and productivity, which results in superior service delivery. This in turn translates into higher client satisfaction and loyalty and thus improved sales levels and better business results. Re-investing some of the profits into employee development continues to fuel growth and brings us back full circle!!