Despite the fact that business owners are completely aware that they cannot survive without customers, many fail to see the importance of having a customer-centered organization. The process of becoming truly customer centered is not necessarily an easy process, but it is worthwhile to shift your focus to the people your business needs more than anything or anyone else — your customers and clients.
Becoming customer centered involves seeing the operation of your business from the perspective of your customers. This could be difficult, as you may find that it requires a removal of intense scrutiny and sole focus on products, along with a shift toward to the customer experience. If you look at trends, customers are now looking for experiences and relationships with the companies from which they buy — not just solely the products themselves. This means that the customer experience could be what causes a consumer to patronize another business besides yours, even if you have a better selection or lower prices. A quality customer experience leads to repeat customers, which in turn leads to stronger relationships between your company and your customers.
It’s not easy to shift and change the mindset of your business. For years you may have been shaping product offerings and marketing strategies based off what upper leadership thinks your customers want. This trickle-down approach is not always effective, and over time, it could ultimately result in products that are actually out of touch with what your customer base is looking for.
An inside-out approach to doing business won’t necessarily thrive in today’s climate. You may have to adapt and adjust to better meet the expectations and needs of your customers, which may mean shifting to an outside-in, customer-centered perspective when developing products, launching new offerings and strategizing on new marketing plans. Don’t just work on the product side of your business, but work to improve the overall experience and relationship customers have with your business.
By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC