“The customer is always right”, many times, we hear this. Managers often love to tell the same to their team members. They think this is enough to make the company customer-focused. But, actually, it’s much more challenging than it seems to be.
You must be thinking what’s the payoff if you develop a customer-focused organization? Well, it will help you to stay ahead of your competitors, thus helping to grow the company.
As per Gartner, 89% of organizations are trying to compete with others on the basis of providing the best customer experience. Customer focus has become a priority nowadays. But where some of the companies are thinking of themselves to be customer-focused, many customers do not agree. Only 8% of them actually think that it’s right.
Don’t need to be disheartened. The great part is you can make your company customer oriented and they are going to believe in you. Before that, let’s understand first what customer focus means and how you can create some effective strategies to reach there.
Customer Focus: What Does It Mean?
Customer Focus has a simple motto: “Prioritize your customers and their needs.”
It’s a business philosophy that keeps customers above all your business decisions. You should make all your products or services keeping customer preferences in mind.
Customer-focused organizations work to cater to customer needs where they concentrate on working for the customers, rather than making money for the company or only thinking of their benefits. Many organizations are losing this battle, as they fail to cater to customer needs and expectations.
As per a recent survey conducted by Salesforce, nearly 73% of consumers want other organizations to look into their requirements, but only 51%of them agree that companies are actually doing the same. So, it’s high time that you buckle up your shoes and make them wrong.
Making your company, customer-focused is not the responsibility of only customer support team, but it should be followed by all other departments of your company. Though high skilled customer service team is required for providing effective customer support, delivering a positive experience to them should be the responsibility of the whole organization. It consists of:
- Good quality products or services
- Transparent pricing models
- Trustworthy marketing & advertising campaigns
- Easy and comfortable sales cycles
Why Customer Focus is So Important?
Customer focus can be called the foundation of making customers loyal towards your brand. You promise customers to always give them the first priority and in return they trust you and become the brand advocates.
You must be thinking, why am I always talking about customer benefits? To create a customer-focused company, what are the benefits your business will get?
Well, let me tell you that too!
If you don’t want your customers to look for other options, and be in a long-term relationship with them, then you must understand their present and future requirements, and how you are going to cater to those needs.
Here your team needs to work more to make the products and services capable of fulfilling their needs. The more you try to make them happy and satisfied the longer your customers will stay with you.
Initially you need to experiment to have an idea about what’s working for your company and what’s not. You need to spend more money, time and resources but after a certain period, you will start getting better outcomes.
The operational costs will be decreased gradually and your team will be more specialized in catering to customer needs. You will start getting more sales conversions from your business because of 2 reasons:
- It’s a lot cheaper to retain your existing customers rather than getting new ones.
- Through product renewals and upgrades, customers bring more business to you.
- Several product upgrades will bring your customers more business for you.
If you make your customers believe that you really care for them, they will love you more and will stick to your brand rather than going to your competitors. Loyal customers tend to recommend your brand to their near and dear ones. This kind of brand advocacy is priceless and much more powerful than other advertising activities.
How to Develop a Customer-Focused Culture?
To create a customer-centric office culture, First, ensure that you know them in and out and are well aware of their expectations. So, collect all the available customer data and understand all the loopholes. Make it a point to use the data while creating customer-focused strategies for the company.
These 10 ideas will help to give it a start!
1. Understand Your Customers
To understand them, just ask yourself a couple of questions like,
- What do they need from your business?
- What is the driving force behind their decision-making process?
- What do they feel about your company?
Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will help you to understand his requirements and thoughts in a better way. It will give you a new perspective on your business you never thought of.
For example, you may think of describing the high-tech features of your product to a customer for closing the deal, but you never know if the customer may want to understand something else like how that product can help him to make his daily life much easier. Though your customer service and sales team directly handle the customers, all other departments too should put customers above everything else.
2. Hire the Right Employees
Hire the right people with a customer-focused mindset. They should have the quality of making customers feel special and important. They should also know how to prioritize customer needs over other things. Some of the best qualities your employees must possess,
- Great communication skills
- Calm and patient
- Sense of humor
- Should know about the company and its products & services in detail
- Efficiency in handling customers
3. The Whole Company Should Get Exposure to Consumers
Though your support team, being the primary point of contact, handles the customers, if you really want to create a customer-focused office culture, make the whole company understand the importance of them.
Many of your employees work at the backend, they don’t handle customers regularly or even never get a chance to meet them, but they should know how to put customers above everything. To get success, you have to infuse this culture all over your organization.
4. Motivate Your Employees
Always monitor the impact of your customer-focused strategies. When the team manager measures the positive outcome of all their effort, team members get motivated to serve more.
Your customer retention growth should be linked to the growth of your employees. Proper incentives and appraisal should be given to the team members which helps to boost interest in giving their best.
5. Customer Empathy
Being empathetic to customers is easier to say but it’s not. You need to understand their pain points and requirements. Showing customer empathy helps to build up a long-term relationship with them.
To understand customers in a better way, study their behavior on several support channels like social media, phone calls, live chat assistance, etc. You will get an idea about their thoughts and opinions.
6. Share Customer Feedback with Your Team
Customers share their thoughts and opinions regarding the product or service and the support they are getting from your company. Be it positive or negative, don’t keep the feedback within specific departments. Let all your employees know what customers actually think about them. What they are liking and what’s not.
Positive feedback from customers will motivate your employees to do more for them, whereas negative feedback will let them understand what went wrong and other improvement areas.
Also, monitor the review status regularly. Notice whether your employees are following the feedback or not and is there any improvement. Getting an idea is required to understand the effectiveness of all the taken initiatives.
7. Give Opportunities to Learn New Things
You need to have a strong foundation for creating a customer-focused culture and strategies. It’s not going to happen suddenly. Each and every brick of your customer-focused company has to be solid. Also, some useful strategies will be required in the long run of creating a customer-focused environment.
Try to invest in learning new things. To enrich the product knowledge of the team members, arrange training programs on a regular basis. Improved technical skills can help them to work better on a daily basis, thus improving customer satisfaction and company growth.
You can offer them several useful courses from various good institutions to improve their customer-focus skills. Being skilled in good customer-focused communication always give you an advantage over your competition.
8. Data is Important
Data is everything nowadays. Here you don’t need to guess the customers’ needs and requirements, instead, just look into the latest trends. But please don’t blindly use those metrics. Here are some important areas to consider:
- Use the metrics compassionately
- Add context to all the relevant and useful data
- Use the information to understand customers- who are using your services and what they actually want from you
For example, the development team can add a product update with the customer service metrics to ensure customers come to know about it easily. To use data in the best manner, always have an idea of the context. You can use insights across all the software and different systems to interpret the analytics effectively.
9. Use the Best Customer Service Tool for Providing Better Assistance
When you are making the customers your utmost priority, providing them with the best experience is also very important for your business.
Customers may face several problems while using your products or services. Don’t worry! This is absolutely normal. Your job will be to solve the issues.
Most customers tend to reach your support department for getting instant help. Make it a point that the team provides assistance without keeping them waiting. Sometimes, it becomes tough for them to handle too many customers at a time.
To ease this kind of situation, invest in useful customer service software that helps them to offer instant assistance to customers. They can proactively reach out to the customers for offering help before they ask for it.
Here, I would like to recommend REVE Chat for your consideration. It’s an excellent software That offers live chat, voice, and video chat facilities to customers. You can also automate the whole chat sessions with AI-based chatbots. Some of its best features include:
- Proactive chat
- Screen sharing
- Chat transfers
- Reporting & analytics for both customers and support agents
10. Remember Your Customers
Every customer has a story but obviously, they don’t like to introduce themselves or talk about the issues they face while interacting with your team members. They might get irritated and chances are they will not accept you to be customer-focused.
You should make them feel important and valued- these are the two main principles of being customer-focused. Assume that whenever you go to your office, every time you need to introduce yourself to your co-workers. How you are going to feel? Irritating right? Customers also are no exception.
To deal with such issues, maintain a detailed customer database containing all required details of customers like:
- Account information
- Previous issues
- customers last contacted you etc.
Your customer service solution also offers visitor analytics containing information about customers like past chat histories, their geographic locations, date and time of initiated chat requests, etc. to be up-to-date.
Examples of Some Great Customer-Focused Companies
So, you have finally made your customer focus strategy but implementing it across your organization is not going to happen overnight. Several practices and adjustments are required to get there. Let me share with you the case studies of two companies that have transformed their business journey keeping customer focus as their priority.
This is a sunglass manufacturing company for high-end consumers. They have become an example for all their competitors in the same segment. As per Gary Torsthend, the founder of Clear Vision, “The secret to our success is customer focus.”
They always think about customer preferences before designing upcoming models. They put themselves in the customers’ shoes and think from their perspectives. Clear Vision does not go for any such marketing research, the company understands the customers well and can anticipate their preferences. This is the key to Clear Vision’s success.
Zappos’s business model is designed, keeping customer needs and their happiness in mind. It is a service company that sells shoes, clothing, and different accessories.
They have understood one very important aspect. Just like clothes, effective customer service also doesn’t follow the one-size-fits-for-all concept. It is all about getting the perfect fit for every individual. Keeping it in mind, they have completely personalized the customer support process.
Zappos offers 24/7 customer support stuffed by a big team of efficient representatives who are highly trained to resolve customer issues within a short time. They are very much flexible with refunds and replacements, have a 365 days time span for returning products in case customers do not like them.
Apart from that, Zappos always tries to provide best-in-class personalized customer support. Within a very short time, it has become an example for several businesses.
Some Beautiful Quotes to Keep You Motivated:
“Customer service should not just be a department, it should be the entire company.”-–Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
“To earn the respect (and eventually love) of your customers, you first have to respect those customers. That is why Golden Rule behavior is embraced by most of the winning companies.” – Colleen Barrett, Southwest Airlines President Emerita
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job to make the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon
“The reason for our success is no secret. It is the Golden Rule–the simple idea that we should treat others the way we would want to be treated.” –Isadore Sharp, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
For more such motivational quotes, CLICK HERE.
Gradually to be in the long run and provide better customer experience, many organizations are transforming themselves from being sales or product-oriented to customer-focused.
Every team member has something to contribute for the development of a customer-focused office culture. Design your products keeping customer requirements in mind, rather than thinking about how your company can get benefited. Developing customer-focused values across the organization is tough but once done, it stays forever.
Being one of the best customer service solutions, REVE Chat can help you to offer more effective and personalized assistance to your customers. Want to give it a try? Signup for the FREE TRIAL today.