A customer-focused business is one that operates completely around their relationships with clients and client satisfaction. Decisions are made based more around the needs and wants of customers, rather than technical or sales operations. Building a customer-focused organization can be the true key to running a successful, and profitable, business. There are 10 things a company should do if they want to become, or maintain a good customer-focused organization.
Know Your Customer
To fully serve your customers, and your business, you need to know who they are, what they want, and how to get it to them. Market research is a great way to determine you overall strategy. Running data to find out demographics, locations, and spending habits of your customers is good, but getting it straight from the source will be your key to success. Gaining personal insights right from the customer will give you something research never can. Ask them questions, send out surveys, read their reviews and questions – and develop a customer profile that you can then divvy up into more specific segments to target more granularly.
Figure Out Their Problem, and Solve it
Figuring out the shared problem your target customer has, and solving it is what can build a good business model. A niche problem can help focus what and how you deliver a solution to your customers. For example, Customer Traac knows that dealerships have problems maintaining high volume inbound calls, appointment scheduling, and service follow-up. That niche allows us to focus on the customer’s problem and solve it. Having too many issues and too many problems makes it difficult to get good at one thing.
Build Trust with Your Customers
If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t stick around, and they may even prevent others from coming to you with their problems. Some ways to build trust amongst your customers are solving their problem before they become more frustrated, gaining immediate feedback from customers and making them feel like you care and they are part of the process, and being present when they leave comments and reviews – make it right. When they see that their problems are not only being solved, but any issues they’ve voiced have been used to better the business as a whole, they are going to feel nurtured and cared for. This gains their trust and hopefully long term loyalty.
Keep Up to Date with Your Industry
Industries like tech, healthcare, and the auto industry are ever-changing. They are on to the next year and the next big thing before you can blink an eye sometimes. Keeping up to date with industry trends and changes is crucial to getting ahead of the curve when it comes to solving your customers’ future problems. Knowing what to expect down the line with industry changes and problems, is going to be beneficial to you and your clients. They will be shocked to know you’ve solved their problem before they can even ask for the fix.
Utilize Customer Feedback
Customer reviews and feedback are a GOOD THING. You should actually want and crave their feedback. In a customer-focused organization, seeing good numbers on your sales reports doesn’t matter as much as how your customers are feeling and how satisfied they are. When you interact with a customer personally, ask them to give their feedback if they would like and it’s the best way you are going to know exactly how to improve your business. Check reviews on Yelp, Google, and other review sites. You should actively respond to both positive and negative reviews. People want to know that they are being heard, and if other customers see that you are responding to other customers, they may feel more inclined to leave feedback as well. Take the bad ones and see them as opportunities, not failures!
Tie Your Customers into Your Brand
Your brand should represent your customer and one way to do this is to gain brand advocates. Customers who love your services or have had great experiences with you may be willing to advocate for you to others. Most shoppers say they would trust a recommendation from a family member or friend over any other advertising. If you aren’t utilizing this, you are missing out on some free marketing basically. Some ways to use customers in your branding is through social media, you can utilize tags and hashtags to find people that are talking about you and share their posts! People love to see their posts shared on the brands they love. Some companies have even compiled videos of real customer reviews or social posts into marketing videos for their business. It makes your customer feel like they are part of the team, and that what they say really matters.
Customer Experience is Key
From the beginning to the end of your customer interaction, they should feel cared for, happy with the service, and having a good time! Putting personality into the customer experience is a huge difference between a customer who will come back, and one who won’t. Send funny email campaigns, post fun interactive social media posts, and when you’re on the phone with them be cheerful, helpful, and personable. Going above and beyond with your customer service can increase customer satisfaction tenfold. Make sure your employees and customer service team know how to remain poised and calm in a possible negative interaction with a customer. The customer who is irate may be able to turn around if they are treated with respect and care, and their problem is solved.
Continually Improve Products and Processes
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This doesn’t really work for your customer-focused business. You should always be striving to improve your process, no matter what. The goal should always be to achieve that 100% customer satisfaction. There is always room for growth when it comes to customer service. You can try new tactics, switch up your conversations with customers, maybe even try some new ways internally to motivate and encourage employees. Never settle, even when things are good. A successful company is always looking for and trying to achieve the next best thing.
Be proactive in everything you do. Whether it is communicating company changes, industry updates, or any new improvements. You should also be proactive with your customers. Sending follow-up emails, SMS, or phone calls will keep your relationship with your customers solid and sets the tone for the rest of your interactions. Be proactive in solving their problems and knowing what they want before they even ask. You can be the thought leader and a cut above the rest by being proactive in all your business strategies.
Invest in Your Employees
The heart and soul of your customer-focused organization is your customer service team. To get good people, you need to treat your current team well. Invest in their well-being, and encourage growth amongst your team. Making your employees feel wanted, needed, and cared for is the highest motivator and will encourage them to give the best customer service they can. If you feel good, you perform better.
These tips apply to everyone from the top to the bottom of the organization, and if they are followed a company is sure to be set up for success. Be mindful, respectful, and proactive in building a customer-focused business. Putting the customer first will build their trust and increase your growth.