There has always been a lot of talk from business leaders about being customer driven, customer focused, customer centered in their business activities but what does that really mean?
Here are some key questions and answers to help leaders wanted to improve their organization’s level of customer focus:
1. Why be customer focused?
a. It pays – countless studies tell us businesses with high levels of customer focus sustain a growth path and are much more profitable
b. It’s more satisfying – a pat on the back from a customer makes the hard work all worthwhile
2. How does a customer focused business and team think?
a. It has a shared belief that “what’s best for the customer is best for the business”.
b. The customer is at the heart of all decisions – it is enacted by saying “How will this decision affect the customer; how will it benefit the customer?”
3. What do customer-focused people and teams do?
a. They get feedback from end customers and act on it
b. They get feedback from service provider partners and act on it
c. They gain insights on what bugs customers
d. They understand what will create real added value for intermediate and end customers
e. They realize that it’s the customer’s perception of what is valuable that counts, not their own view of what’s valuable
f. The biggest challenge is for us to gain a customer’s perception of what is really valuable
4. How can we measure how customer-focused we are?
a. Measure what people do in the business that affects the value delivered to customers – adding customer perceived value is a positive; doing non-value work is a negative
b. This comes down to how we behave – in relation to customers and competitors; how we collaborate with each other and our partners
5. What leads to loyal customers spending more and not considering the competition?
a. Personal relationships that create advocates
b. Consistent high value service delivery
c. Continually interacting with customers, listening for feedback, asking, customers how we are doing
d. There is great satisfaction in understanding a customer’s real need and helping them satisfy it
6. Who creates value for customers?
a. Everyone – if you are not creating value for customers, you are draining the business of its potential and future
b. The user experience is affected by everything the business delivers or does not deliver
c. Customers don’t care about your processes, they want a solution to their real problem
d. We should all be focused on solving the end user’s business problem/needs