Ask any modern marketing professional, and they’ll tell you: when it comes to growth, delighting existing customers is as critical to success as winning new ones. In other words, your business must be customer focused.
The Best of the Best Are Customer Focused
As the pandemic is ending and businesses are reopening, customer expectations are higher than ever before. Customers are scrutinizing businesses more intensely than ever. They’re comparing their experience with your brand to others. The easy, fast, and personalized experiences they’re having with the best of the best will win out. And it’s these customer focused businesses that get to reap the benefits of renewed loyalty and competitive advantage.
With 89% of companies competing primarily on the basis of customer experience, customer focus has never been more important. But there remains a gap in how many companies think they’re customer focused compared to how many customers agree. In fact, while 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences,” only 8% of customers hold that same opinion. The good news is that customer focus can be improved. And it starts by deepening your understanding of what customer focused means and building an effective strategy.
So now you know that your business needs to be customer focused, but what does that mean? How do you achieve it? Here are some tips to help you get there!
Know Your Customers
You cannot put the customer at the forefront if you don’t who the customer is. You need to know who your ideal buyers are and you need a clear picture of who your existing customers are.
Put in your homework here. Interview or survey some of your best customers and find out what it is that makes you and them a good fit. Find out what they most desire and then delight them by providing it, or better yet, going above and beyond. Offering these things to these existing customers will also attract new ones.
Make Your Customers Feel Heard
Behind every customer is a story. But customers don’t want to have to repeat that story every time they interact with your brand. And if customers feel ignored because they must repeat themselves, they won’t be likely to remember your company as customer focused.
Imagine having to reintroduce yourself to a coworker every time you see them in the office kitchen and remind them of what you last spoke about. It’s neither personal nor customer focused, but that’s often how businesses communicate with their customers. To ensure you have satisfied customers that feel heard, companies will need to have the full story on the customer, such as:
- Their name
- Account information
- When they last reached out
In addition, this prepares your employees with the relevant context and conversation history they need to give customers the personalized experiences they expect.
Generic, one size fits all marketing is no longer relevant. Consumers are inundated with media messages from commercials, to ads, to emails, to pop-ups. If you want to be noticed, you must stand out in the crowd. You need to keep the text messaging short and sweet and use graphics and video to grab your customers’ attention quickly.
Meet the Customer Where They Already Are
It may be more efficient to streamline a single communication channel to reach all your customers and potential customers, but even if you provide an outstanding experience there, it will not help your business if the customers are not receiving it.
Customers do not want to have to put effort into reaching your brand. You must come to them. If your demographics show a preference for mobile-first, you need to develop a strategy that will connect there. In other words, stay customer focused when making decisions.
With the onslaught of digital data and competition vying for your potential customers’ attention, you need to rely on tools to give you an edge and communicate with clarity and vision. First, the most important of which is your customer relationship management (CRM) software. This software will help you be more strategic about when and how you communicate with your customers or potential customers so that every touchpoint has a specific purpose.
Do Not Rest on Your Laurels
No matter how long a customer or potential buyer has been engaging with you — whether that’s a week or decades — you need to treat them as though you’re still trying to win their business. Be sure you are monitoring if their needs or desires change or if they are in a different phase of their journey with you. Consistently be sure that you offer them the best possible experience.
Constructive feedback is a valuable resource. Collect data. Ask your customers about their experiences. Using surveys or an online community, or even just conversation, find out what the customer experience is like and how the customer would make it better. Be sure you do not stop there, though.
You must use this information and respond. If your customers see you asking for their feedback, and then they see you responding to it, they are more likely to participate and collaborate with you in giving feedback more often. Using customer feedback is a prime example of using data to truly operate as a customer focused organization.
Education Over Promotion
Resist the temptation to make your marketing all about you. In other words, content that focuses on you can be a turnoff. Likewise, if your content is only trying to sell, your engagement with the customer will be diminished.
Instead, use a strategy that truly provides information and education to your customers on topics that are meaningful and relevant to them. Teach them something they want to learn! Intertwine the messages of what you can do to help them, and they will take advantage of it.
To summarize, these are just a few of the things that you can do as a business to become more customer focused. Things like honesty in marketing campaigns, transparency in pricing, ease and efficiency of the customer’s experience, and the excellent quality of the goods and/or services offered will all add to current customers that are thrilled with your business, are loyal, and will spread the news.
Here are a few examples from Courtney Gupta, Customer Service Enthusiast of how to become a customer focused company from four companies who did.
To show that customer experience matters across the business, Zappos connects the organization through customer-centric values. For example, every employee takes customer service calls during their first two weeks at the company.
The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons redefined luxury with its white-glove customer service that’s based on building real, human relationships with customers. Guests can reach out to the hotel via Twitter, Facebook Messenger, or SMS like they would a friend to arrange spa reservations, get restaurant recommendations, and access special services.
Postmates’ CX team partners with their product team and analytics team to ensure customer feedback informs key product decisions. Without exception, this drives measurable improvements, such as reducing customer cancellations with product updates.
Unhappy customers are inevitable. What’s important to becoming customer-focused is how you handle them. Birchbox uses service recovery to flag customer complaints and then turn the experience around to repair the relationship.
At NuMedia Marketing we can help you achieve these goals of customer focused marketing. Contact us today for all your needs in branding, design, web development, technology, marketing, and advertising.
Are you on Facebook? We are, too. Let’s be friends.