The Importance of Having a Customer Focus
A company's success relies on many things, with one of the main factors being customers. Now more than ever, in the era of swiping left or right - customers have ultimate control.
To succeed the company must place the customer at the front of the queue, which means that differentiated customer service is needed. The best approach for producing excellent customer satisfaction is by developing a customer focus.
What is Customer Focus?
The concept is a simple one. It involves putting yourself in your customer's shoes and focusing on the needs, wants and expectations of your customers. Understanding things from your customer's perspective allows you to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
A customer focus should be your main priority when it comes to any business decision. What do we stand for? How will we promote? Where do we locate it? These questions should be focused on your customer, not you. The 'superhero' companies that collect the accolades and rewards - Amazon, Netflix, Disney, and Apple, to name a few, are obsessed about their customers.
Apple products are all modelled to customer experience, whereas Amazon devotes themselves to providing customers with quick deliveries. But for the smaller companies, how do you build customer focus? Here are a few guidelines on how you create customer focus within your business.
Define the Customer Service Vision
Are you going to send your troops to battle without a clear strategy? No. You need a vision to see what needs to be done. How will you incorporate the customer into your business? For example, Harley Davidson has a clear customer focus. The customer becomes part of the family when they purchase a motorcycle. They want customers to be part of the brand; it's an approach that has resulted in thousands of loyal customers being devoted to the Harley Davidson life. A Harley Davidson bike isn't just a motorbike; it's part of the customer's identity. Whatever your vision is, it has to relate to those buying your goods and service. Wear your customer's shoes for a minute.
Be careful; take your time. Find people who can represent the culture you want to have. Don't just hire someone who is almost a perfect fit. You wouldn't buy an expensive suit that was just too big or too small. If you're going to make a significant investment in them, they have to be the right choice. In one of my other businesses, I liked to give candidates some play-doh and ask them to create something useful to me and pitch why. A bit like Dragons Den, except I don't have as much money as those judges. From toilet seats to basketball hoops, I've had it all. But the test isn't to see who can make the best model. I use it to identify creative, free talking staff who can think on their feet. That's the sort of person my business needed. Make sure any staff you hire understand the vision and can get on board with it.
Reinforce the Vision When Training
Employees come with a vast range of skills and talents. It's up to the leaders to match these with the core values of the business. Sometimes employees may lose sight of the businesses identity or get stuck in unwanted habits. The longer you leave it, the more the business suffers along with your customers. Embedding a customer focussed vision into every aspect of a company takes time and persistence. You will need to continually remind your employees of its importance. This can be done through team meetings or training sessions, but it takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is your company.
Listen to Employees
The insight and importance of employees should never be underestimated, from the office cleaner to the CEO. Each worker has different experiences with the company; their feedback can give you the answers that you didn't know you needed. How do they feel about the product or service you provide? If there's something they don't like about it, then your customers are more than likely to feel the same. If my businesses didn't use Cxceed to help improve their communications, then how could I ever expect to sell it to you?!
Collect Regular Feedback from Customers
How do you know that your customer service is successful? By your Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). If you don't know what yours is, then I would highly recommend you have a way of knowing. If you're not sure how CSAT works, we've already discussed it, along with other essential must-know metrics. Have a read here. Companies need a service that helps collect customer satisfaction scores. Lucky for you, this is why we have developed Cxcced! The software that offers integrated feedback requests to find out how successful each specific communication was with your customer. If you want to become a customer-focused culture, you need to get to know them better.
Target the Right Customers
Go to the Harley Davidson website; immediately, you see a video of a fast-driving motorcycle. It looks impressive. If I didn't want the security of four wheels, I'd be all over it! Look at the memorizing scenery they use. You want to be there, and you want to experience it. Harley Davidson is selling a lifestyle, a way of life. Customers need to be convinced. Interact through all the muti channels out there. If you are targeting youth, get on Snapchat. Targeting offices, use Email. If you know your target audience, it shouldn't be hard to get in touch. Be adaptable, but always remember the companies core beliefs.
Look to the Future
Be proactive to match your customer's needs, not reactive. Steering a company through dramatic changes in modern technology is no easy feat. Day to day activities should help achieve long term goals. Never forget that having a flexible business and influential culture will maintain a strong commitment to customer service. If you have any examples of customer-focused cultures or have any advice on how to build a customer-oriented culture, comment below!