It's more important than ever for companies to maintain high service standards through great customer focus. Since customers are constantly comparing their experiences, brands with the most effective and memorable customer-focused strategies often win out.
Improving your customer focus practices can quickly give your company a competitive edge. Not only will you have better insight into how your company is responding to customers' needs and values, but you'll be more prepared to carry all potential buyers through your sales funnels.
Customer focus is a business strategy that allows an organization to see its value from a customer's perspective. By getting insight into how your business is perceived throughout the customer journey, and where customers perceive value – or lack of value – you’ll better understand how to deliver what customers really need.
Customer focus is more of an art than a science. It can't be perfected or solved with universal solutions, and it comes down to how much you understand your customers — because most companies simply don't. Take Bain & Company's research of 362 firms, which showed that 80% of companies believed that they were delivering "superior experiences." However, customers stated that only 8% of the companies had met their expectations.
Implementing customer focus is only effective if your company is willing to put in continuous time and effort to improve your customer experience. Some customer focus examples include:
Tesla: Gives customers ownership of their buying process from beginning to end
Zappos: Sends personal, individualized emails to every customer
Starbucks: Offers a fresh, remade drink for unhappy customers whose expectations aren't met
Walmart: Offers customers resources beyond shopping, such as payroll cashing and overseas financial solutions
Customer-focused companies revolve every part of their business around the customer. Your efforts must concentrate on every part of the customer experience. Once your company has a clear idea of your customers' wants, needs, and experiences, you'll start to see sizable benefits, including increased revenue, brand awareness, and collaboration.
Researchers have found that it's actually more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain them. If you're not understanding your customers and losing them regularly, you'll have to spend more time, money, and resources to convince new people to invest in your brand.
By proactively meeting customers' needs and executing with customer empathy, you'll build healthy two-sided relationship with your loyal customers. Happy customers that retain provide more resources for the business to further invest in customer-focused strategies creating a virtuous cycle.
When customers feel that their pain points are solved with your product or service, they're going to share that great experience with others. Customer focus strategies allow you to find out how you can break down your customers' barriers and prove that your company is the answer to their problems. Once you gain their trust, they will want others to feel the same way. That's the best way to get genuine organic marketing.
Your happy customers can quickly bring you more potential customers. They can help raise your brand awareness and increase conversions because people will often invest in products or services that others trust.
Customer focus provides a common, clear mission for all of the employees of the business. With this clear mission, teams are better empowered to work collaboratively to meet customer needs and solve their problems.
Aligned to a common mission, teams can work cross-functionally to deliver more value to their customers. At the heart of customer focus strategies is having a process to collect the right data on customer needs so the business can focus on solving the right customer problems. Equipped with that data, product, customer, and sales and marketing teams can all work to a common goal. Finance will even have a framework for opportunities that can warrant additional investment.
Implementing customer-focused efforts is a company-wide priority. All teams within your company need to be honest about where they see room for improvement. Once you and your team do this, you can start integrating customer focus practices into your strategies.
A few first steps for you to take include:
Even if you think that your company provides an amazing customer experience, there is always room for more improvement. You and your company's key stakeholders will need to be brutally honest before even getting started with making changes. By finding the lackluster areas and gaps beforehand, you can tailor your new strategies to better fit your and your customers' needs.
Your business is likely sitting on mountains of customer input already. Revisit it, and consider the underlying drivers of customer happiness or dissatisfaction. What are frontline teams hearing from customers? Why do customers cancel (or threaten to cancel)? Find the priority hotspots to focus your initial efforts.
It’s easy to periodically conduct customer surveys or interview customers. You should keep doing that. To really execute with customer focus, leading businesses have an “always-on” approach to listening to customer needs. Every interaction, every day can inform customer focus initiatives. That data comes into the business through product usage and frontline team interactions with prospects and customers. Create a process to constantly harness those inputs to inform customer focus strategies.
The good news is that Quala can help you do this at scale.
At Quala we understand that making any customer-related business change can take a lot of extra time and effort. There's often too much data for you and your team to handle, and it can be hard to understand where to start making changes.
That’s why we created a platform to harness frontline intelligence, quantifying what customers say, teams hear, and customers do. Quala provides a rich data foundation to implement customer focus strategies. By implementing Quala, you will have the intelligence necessary to inform product roadmaps, improve customer experiences, and stay a step ahead of competitors.
Request a free Quala demo today to get the right data to start your customer focus journey.