Are your customers at the core of your decision-making process on a daily basis? Weekly? Every so often?
It’s not unusual for companies to go about their day-to-day routine without really thinking about their customers. Truthfully, customers typically come into play when we are (a) trying to get more of them, (b) trying to get existing customers to buy more from us, and (c) when they complain.
Is it really a mystery that we find it so difficult to engage our customers when we only pay attention to them at random intervals?
Customers and prospects should be a central part of our every-day processes. While this might seem unusual at first, you will find great benefit from developing a culture that is truly customer focused.
The Lens of a Customer
You have multiple competitors vying for your customers. When was the last time you looked at your business through the lens of the customer? Are you really delivering against their needs and expectations? If not, your competition certainly will. A critical component in acquiring the perspective of your customer is through customer touch-points.
Customer focus must go beyond the acquisition phase and into all aspects of the customer experience. Utilizing an effective system of customer touch-points ensures that you have a method to capture key interactions with customers through a detailed analysis of their journey. The result is an understanding of critical factors that impact the customer experience.
Now there is a word we frequently throw around – customer experience. What does that really mean?
It means exactly what we are discussing here. It means creating an environment that includes thinking of the customer at every turn. It does not matter whether it is operations, R&D, or accounting – having a customer focused system that includes key touch-points is critical to creating an overall positive experience.
Doing so requires that you change the focus of your internal business processes. Push the boundaries of “business as usual” and move into something more powerful.
Challenge the Norm: Creating a customer focused company requires that you first change the communication between departments. Sales and marketing must share who the ideal customer is, why that is important to the company, and how they intend to find and acquire these people. The flow of communication between any customer service arm and your operations, delivery and R&D groups are also critical.
Think of it as a continual loop of information that is encompassed in your customer engagement process. Every department should place the customer in the center of every project, every technology upgrade, every process created. AND most importantly, a culture of sharing information about the customer’s needs, wants, desires and reactions must be created in order to be successful. The engagement process ensures that your customers are considered at every turn, creating a positive tone for customer partnerships through relationship growth.
Move beyond the idea that customers are something you only acquire to positively impact revenue. Move into the idea that customers are the focal point for everything you do. Only then will you find avenues for continued business growth through excellent customer partnerships. These types of relationships provide increased revenue through more projects and referrals. Customer focus breeds successfull organizations. Don’t you want to be successful?