With all the new technology that is out there to help make things easier for businesses, such as chatbots, and the race to make AI an integral part of marketing strategies, it is important to remember that it is essential to keep in mind that the customer comes first.
Many of today’s successful companies are focused on creating a culture within their organization and developing marketing strategies that are designed to deliver customer-centric outcomes. Put simply, this customer-first concept revolves around the idea that every strategic decision takes into consideration how the company will meet and even better, exceed the customers’ needs.
The key to these companies’ success is that they have recognized the importance of developing their business around what the customer needs rather than building the business around products. Perhaps the greatest example of a product that was born out of the customers’ need to communicate more effectively was the telephone. As Peter Fader, a marketing professor, put it, “Customer-centric companies don’t make products they think customers will want, they make products they know their customers will want.”
There are numerous studies out there that point to how a customer-first strategy can improve the bottom line. For example, a study by Zendesk reported that 87 per cent of customers revealed that a good customer experience changed their future buying behaviour from either recommending the products or services to others to using or purchasing more of what that company offers.
While it may seem logical in today’s business environment to be customer service oriented it is also logical to look inwardly at your business, whether you are a single person or have a large staff, to ensure that you are delivering a positive customer experience at all levels.
The best place to start is by asking three questions.
1) Are you focused on how your products or services can help your customers or do you place more emphasis on the actual products or services?
2) How well do you know your customers with respect to their goals, needs, aspirations, or lifestyles?
3) Are you delivering proactive customer experiences by anticipating their needs or problems rather than reacting to them?
With this shift over the past few years that puts the customer in the proverbial driver’s seat, a customer-first strategy is no longer an optional marketing tool. Numerous studies have indicated that 65 per cent or more of customers will change to a different brand or company because of a poor experience.
A well-executed customer-first strategy not only helps in the overall experience of dealing with your company but at the end of the day will help improve customer retention, promote loyalty and ultimately lead to increased revenue.
Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org