The previous post in this series explored Customer Satisfaction and the role it plays as a strategic KPI particularly for business where improving customer experience is a mission critical driver. If you have not read the previous post or others in the series on business resolutions you can find them here:
— Oracle CX (@OracleCX) January 16, 2014
There has been a lot of research on the different components of commitment with respect to how an individual working for a company relates to it. In 2007 a research duo by the name Meyer and Allen published a book based on their research and the research of their predecessors. In the Human resource Management Review, Meyer and Allen take concepts that were already familiar and created a three component model that could be applied to the level of commitment between employee-organization. I would argue that those components could indeed be applied with respect to the customer-organization relationship as well.
Three Mindsets (adapted from Meyer and Allen and applied to the customer-organization relationship)
1. Normative commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization due to a feeling of obligation.
In my opinion normative is never where you want to be in any kind of relationship. Who wants to be the “old stand by”? Any organization who is seriously trying to improve customer commitment should try to change the mindset of these customers. Engage them whether through a loyalty program, focus groups, surveys or something more cutting edge like gamifcation (I would recommend reading Gamification by design published by O’Reilly. Their books have never failed me and I recommend them always to friends and colleagues interested in technology). People want to be important so tell them that they are.
2. Continuance commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization because of an awareness of the costs associated with leaving.
Well this is another one that organizations should try to change. Do not continue with continuance because once the costs associated with leaving are no longer a factor you will see attrition rates increase. A good example that illustrates this comes from a conversation I had just yesterday with my parents. They are in a contract with a certain cell phone provider who has become more expensive and seemingly more difficult to deal with than other providers. Yet my parents do not switch because of the perceived high cost associated with cancelling the contract early. However if we do some quick arithmetic it becomes apparent that the savings obtained over the next year far exceed the cost of cancelling today.
3. Affective commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization due to an emotional attachment to, and involvement with, that organization.
YES! This is the sweet spot, where you want your customers to be. They should be in love with your brand, your products, your services and even your customer support infrastructure. If your customers have an emotional attachment they will become your biggest champions and evangelists. To be effective you must be affective.
Customer Commitment is the desire of a consumer to remain a customer of an organization. While this is definitely true it is not the whole picture. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship be it personal or business or has strived to achieve a goal knows that commitment is a two way street. If an organization wants to feel the love from their customers they need to give the love.
I have three boys and bought Fisher Price Geo Trax train sets for all of them because I have an affective commitment with them and I feel they have one with their customer base. The toys are made well, durable enough to withstand being thrown in the mud, slammed against trees and taken in the tub. On two occasions when I had a customer service issue they assisted me quickly and replaced my item no questions asked. They sent me a coupon for another item of my choice and followed up with an email a few days after I received the replacement.
Where does RightNow come in?
With RightNow Web Experience organizations can provide chat, mobile, web self-service, an email management to customers.
With RightNow Social Experience organizations give customers an opportunity to reach out through facebook and twitter. Customers can partake in ongoing support conversations with like-minded individuals or propose innovative new ideas that can be voted on by their peers. Organizations can even gamify their social channels and online communities by offering recognition or even prizes to build commitment.
With RightNow Engage customers can receive email blasts about new promotions, safety advisories, surveys and much more.
Other offerings in the RightNow suite can be equally as useful but I wanted to highlight just a few.
I recently watched a video that I thought was a nice example of the fruits of commitment and figured it would be a good way to close our discussion on commitment. When I was at Open World this past September the America’s cup was going on at the same time so every day there were updates about how Team USA (sponsored by Oracle) was doing. Early on there were some pretty big setbacks and the team faced what appeared to be certain defeat but with a lot of commitment on the part of the team they pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the race. I hope you enjoy.
February release is just a week or so away from being generally available. Be sure to read up on all the latest RightNow specific information at: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/rightnow/overview/index.html
If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php
About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for seven years.