The success of any business can be attributed to its customers. The customer indirectly call the shots and have the power to send any CEO or business owner packing if they are unhappy with the services rendered to them.
They represent the soul of any business and are the difference between successful businesses and unsuccessful ones.
According to the Business Dictionary, “Customer focus is the orientation of an organisation toward serving its clients’ needs.” The importance of customer focus cannot be overemphasised, it is the major determinant of the success or failure of an organisation.
When businesses are close to their customers, they are able to gain an understanding of them, their needs, and what they must do to meet those needs. On the other hand, the farther the distance between an organisation and its customers, the higher the likelihood of failure.
The culture of bonding closely with customers is mostly found in small businesses or startups. Oftentimes, as businesses grow bigger their tendency to drift from customers increases. Management’s attention is no longer on the frontline. Huge mistake!
The reality is that the kind of insight you can get from your customer depends on your dedication, experience and exposure.
Every entrepreneur must realise that customer focus is key. Customers have the power to determine the fate of any organisation and must be given utmost priority all the time. If your customer has a complaint or challenge, it is your responsibility to help them address it accordingly.
Adequately engaging with customers or clients also puts you in the position to decipher what you can do to create value for them so that you can capture value in return. Developing a close relationship with clients is a sure way to ensure your organisation thrives even in the midst of an unfavourable economy.
So how then do you make sure to be customer-centric? Here are a few tips:
- Keep the communication lines open all the time: From the front desk representative to the CEO, the customer must have access to anyone he wishes to see in an organisation. Cut out all the bureaucracy and bottlenecks in your processes and operate an open door policy that gives room for customers to freely express themselves. You’ll be the better for it.
- Be willing to listen and assure your customers of your commitment to their satisfaction: Much like what obtains in a relationship between lovers, to be customer focused, you must be a good listener and be convincing in assuring your customers of your unwavering commitment to their satisfaction.
- Go beyond the call of duty: Aside putting automated processes in place to improve customer service, have a human face. Everybody appreciates it when their birthday, wedding anniversary or any other important event in their lives is remembered. Your customers are no different. A greeting card here and a birthday gift there will go a long way in oiling the wheel of your relationship with them.
- Give room for feedback: Encourage your customers to share their honest opinion on what they think about your services and how you treat them, and possibly give suggestions on how you can improve your relationship with them.