A customer-oriented organisation places customer satisfaction at the core of each of its business decisions. An organisation’s approach to sales and customer relations are the deciding factors of customer satisfaction. The management vision should be to align their individual and team objectives around satisfying and retaining customers. This is achieved, in part, with a sales orientation, training, understanding customer psychology, creating a trend analysis of buying behaviour and seeking out the primary need of the customer.
Following such a vision, businesses reinvent their product performance, service capabilities and overall solution offering to meet the changing demands of the market.
It is the customer’s feedback, interest and needs that drive sales, promote products and augment brand reach. As reported by Harvard Business Review, only 14% of marketers say that “customer-centricity is part of their business strategy. Many companies choose to take a product-first approach, which neglects customers and puts the focus on sales”.
Having a customer-focused strategy allows customer needs to take precedence and paves the way to meet brand expectations. Customer value and benefits is in the centre of decision making. Rather than making a decision based on sales or growth, the focus must be on customer satisfaction. If you want to create a customer-centric solution, here are a 5 ways to get started.
- Speak and breathe customer in your company culture
You cannot call yourself a customer-centric company if foundational aspects of your company are not infused with delivering customer satisfaction and delight. Perhaps in a couple of areas, you have applied customer-oriented strategies, but they are not enough. Customer-focused practices should be the norm in every department and every employee. And that starts with orientation and on-boarding. Every team member is a carrier of your overall business goal and instrumental in building the type of culture your company wants to adopt. Having everyone on the same page is imperative.
- Set up customer-focused benchmarks
Only if you have indicators to measure customer-centric performance can you evaluate the success of your customer-focused strategies. Be it in business operations, employee relation, customer handling or after-sales service. Without measurable data to analyse, you will not be able to track or evaluate the progress you have made in establishing a customer-centric culture or solution.
- Shift your mindset about customer expectations
Start by viewing your customers as the solution to problems rather than the reason for your obstacles or challenges. Make them integral to the solution in your strategy to get the results you want. If you approach and tackle the problem outside customer expectation and feedback, you will be trying to fit the customer into the model you think will work best for them. Instead, if you create the solution fuelled by customer psychology, feedback and buying behaviour, you will be able to fill the gap and increase market share.
- Customer communication to induce loyalty and brand patronage
Having a consistent communication funnel set up at all of the customer touch-points will prompt customers to share concerns. Those real issues help determine the pain points which your brand can plan to solve strategically. Regular communication is intrinsic to get to the root of customer needs and create action-based solutions. Doing that shows that your company is proactive about solving customer issues and cares about their satisfaction and brand experience. As an indirect and additional benefit, meaningful communications will induce positive affiliation and patronage toward your brand as per a recent customer marketing report.
- Make customers life easy
As an organisation, you may have set up organisational goals for improved productivity, increased market share, quality benchmarks, and so on. Winning businesses world-over establish customer service protocols and actively collect feedback through a series of channels at every stage in the customer life-cycle.
There are several ways to connect with customers and learn about their expectations and experience with your brand:
- Provide live chat support.
- Send a customer satisfaction survey.
- Post feedback forms on your website.
- Ask for feedback on social media.
- Email subscribers a questionnaire.
However you go about, make sure to mention that your goal is to improve the customer experience, and that will encourage more people to respond.
Bring it on!
Alongside implementing these above suggestions which have proven effective to businesses of all backgrounds, by merely paying attention to your customers, you can revolutionise your industry. With so much competition out there, implementing a customer-focused strategy is truly the only way to have your brand stand out from the rest. This ensures that customer comes first so you can build a loyal customer base that’s happy and willing to continue a relationship with your organisation.
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Boobalan Madhavan | AccSource | www.accsource.com.au
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