Customer First and How to Make Your Company Customer-OrientedThe customer-centric attitude might be the solution to your problems and possibly the best marketing approach out there March 19, 2018
Every business owner wants their company to be recognised. They would do everything they can to reach out to more people and win them as their loyal customers. The question is how do you make people love what your company does. The answer isn’t only about the product or services you provide, it’s about how you treat the customers. We present to you the Customer First Approach.
Table of Contents
- What does customer first mean?
- How Customer First Strategy Can Benefit Your Business
- How Your Business can Implement Customer First in Their Business Strategy
- Successful Customer-Centric Companies in Australia
- The Golden Rules of Customer First Business Culture
- The Customer-Oriented Marketing Is the Best You Can Do for Your Business
What does customer first mean?
Customer first means that a company puts the needs of the client before anything else.
A customer-centric company strives to understand the people who use their product or service and then adapts according to their needs and requirements. The core definition of a customer first is the business dictates its products, services, customer care and overall strategy, with the customer in mind.
How Customer First Strategy Can Benefit Your Business
If your business hasn’t adopted the customer first strategy by now, or if you are just starting in the world of business ventures, here’s how a customer first business plan can benefit your venture. It is the first step forward to creating a brand that people genuinely love.
People Are Willing to Pay More
In a few years, people will be willing to pay more for good customer service. By 2020 customer experience will be more than product and price. In fact, customers are becoming more and more demanding. The Customers 2020 Report even predicts that in the upcoming decade businesses will have to shift from customer-first philosophy to customer committed.
More Returning Clients
Increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase the profits of your company from 25% to 95%. More on that topic you can read in the research of Frederick F. Reichheld and Phil Schefter – The Economics of E-Loyalty.
Prevent Losing Clients
According to The Customer Experience Impact Report around 89% of all customers have stopped doing business with companies who have poor customer service. This can be a huge problem for smaller companies. The report also states that half of all customers give companies a week to respond to, or resolve a problem before they stop doing business with them. This means that companies should know how to handle problems with their clients, and be very fast and flexible when solving the problems.
The researches show that even making a small change in your customer service can tremendously benefit your company while having a poor customer service can be detrimental to its success.
How Your Business can Implement Customer First in Their Business Strategy
As you may know, creating a customer first culture in your company isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Nonetheless, companies have made successful transitions, so yours can too. Here are the key steps to take when shifting to a customer-centric strategy.
Researching your customers well will help you with understanding them better. Your business should gather data from various channels about what your customers expect from you. Also, keep an eye on forums, feedback websites, and social media comedic posts.
Sell products that your customers want to buy
After you know your customers, make sure that you cater your product and services towards the needs of your clients. Make sure that all of your products are readily available. Out of stock products may mean that your business is booming, however, it may also be a sign of your business not doing its best to provide and predict how much of the product needed to be produced.
Acknowledge your customers
Many businesses think that once they sell their product it’s all done. However, successful companies understand the importance of acknowledgement. Make sure to thank your customers. You can do it via email, a personalized thank you card in the packaging, and asking for their feedback.
Preach the customer-centric strategy
Accepting a customer first business strategy is one thing. Making it a company culture is another. Of course, it’s easier to be done when the organisation is just starting, however, already established entities can also make it. It takes persistent efforts, which pay off in the long term.
Every new company should be flexible and adapt to their clients. In the future, the response time of one week is likely to drop, maybe in just a few hours! Make sure your company stays flexible and efficient as possible.
Successful Customer-Centric Companies in Australia
All of us know the big players – Apple, General Electric, Google etc. But Australia has its own great companies with numerous Customer Service awards.
Telstra, the telecommunication company won several UX (user experience) awards. The company continuously invest large amounts of money in their customer service Department, as well as their IT department. Just this January they announced that their $1.2 billion digitisations are led with customer experience in mind.
AGL Energy is another great example of a company with good customer service. In 2014 they won the Best CX Company People’s Choice for Utilities. They continue to redefine the meaning of good customer service in their niché by constantly introducing new improvements to the way they serve their customers. Here’s how they plan to shake the customer experience in the field of energy.
The Golden Rules of Customer First Business Culture
What rules your company needs to follow in order to make sure that your intentions are real, or if you are just playing as you care for your customers.
The customer always knows if you are genuine or not. There is nothing more insulting than faking that you care. The customer will know and this would simply be the end of the conversation.
Treat Your Customers Equally
Every single interaction matters, no matter how big, or small, the customer is. It doesn’t matter how much money you make from your customer, small and big clients should be treated alike.
The Customer Has a Point
The customer may not always be right, but they might have a point. You can always look for a way to resolve a problem, and both parties to be beneficial, even if compromises are made. If the customer isn’t fulfilled with your work, find out why and if the problem could be fixed.
Acknowledge Your Mistakes
Apologize when needed. One of the best things your business can do is to admit when it’s wrong. Apologize and offer a way to fix the trouble.
Give More Than Needed
Learn to give more than the customer expects. There is no better feeling to see that what you pay for isn’t what you get, but instead, it’s much better. Small things can go a long way. Gift cards, special offers and other details relevant to your field of operation should be offered when trying to retain a customer.
Pass Down Your Customer-Centric Morale to Your Employees
Teach employees to care for the customer, and treat them well. You can’t expect employees to care for your customers if you don’t care for the people that work for you. Make sure you treat your employees great, so they can keep your customers happy.
The Customer-Oriented Marketing Is the Best You Can Do for Your Business
With the fast changing times we live in, customers demand more and more every single day. The only way for companies to survive and flourish is to have impeccable customer service and to actively work in order to improve the customers’ life.