The True Power of Being Customer Focused and How to Get There

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It almost goes without saying that if businesses want to see more success in the future, they need to focus on the customer. But how many companies actually follow through on that advice? It’s easy for any organization, no matter the size or type, to get caught up in the daily operations of their businesses. Focus tends to drift more toward the day-to-day activities and less on what the customer really needs and is expecting. Companies need to fight against this natural inclination and embrace a customer-focused approach if they hope to grow and be a major influence within their respective industries. How your organization manages to make turn this goal into a reality is all up to your drive and focus.

Being customer-focused means keeping the customer in mind for every business decision you make. Even if it only has a tangential relation to customer activities, the slightest business change can have major ramifications for customers down the line. But it’s more than just thinking about the customer, it’s about truly getting inside the customer’s mind, finding out what they expect from their experiences with your company. Without this level of understanding, your business is more than likely to miss the mark in your interactions with customers.

The benefits to adopting a customer-focused philosophy go beyond simple statements of becoming more successful. The customer-focused strategy can save your company money. After all, retaining current customers is much less expensive than working to gain new customers. Focusing on customers can also lead to new product development and different business strategies. By getting to know your customers, you understand what they want, which could include new products, services, and ways to managing your company. Every customer can serve as their own private focus group, giving you valuable insights in how your business can be run.

It’s one thing to understand the importance of being customer-focused, but how do you actually do it? There’s certainly no single way to adopt this approach, but a number of guidelines can be followed to maximize chances for success. Being customer-focused starts at the top — the leadership of the company. If the leaders and managers show how much they care about keeping the customer happy, that attitude will easily spread down to the rest of the employees within the organization. It’s very difficult for lower level workers to be customer-focused if their leaders are not.

At the same time, a customer-focused company needs to adopt a culture promoting that idea. That culture should be one that encourages more freedom among employees, along with a reduction in stress and less emphasis placed on rules. If you spend most of your time hammering the rules, workers will begin to think a company’s regulations are the most important thing to focus on, not the customer. Giving employees added perks and fewer boundaries fosters a better work atmosphere, increasing employee satisfaction, which will in turn lead to better customer interactions. Think about it — have you ever seen an unhappy employee interact positively with a customer?

Part of this emphasis on culture needs to start with the hiring of employees. If you look for workers based solely on skill, you’ll likely end up hiring some that don’t get along with customers. When hiring, you need to take into account characteristics that go beyond skill, including their personalities and core values. How well do they work with others? How do they look at customer interaction? Once hired, employees should still be trained routinely with all training sessions centered on being customer-focused. Following up and observing employees as they work can also give you a good idea on how well they are putting these values into practice. This can be done personally, or you may choose to go with live video monitoring if you can’t be there all the time.

Being a customer-focused company means truly empowering your employees to help your customers get what they expect. The customer should be in your mind every step you take both in the daily business operations and large-scale company strategies. As you encourage positive customer interactions throughout your entire organization, loyalty will grow for your brand and success will be assured well into the future. There really is no substitute for making the customer a center of all your focus.

Rick Delgado
Freelance Writer
I've been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I've started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet. I also occasionally write for tech companies like Dell.

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