Put the Customer Back at the Heart of Your Business: Implementing a Customer-First Strategy
Customers belong at the heart of your business. And ensuring that this truly comes to fruition, and results in business growth, requires intention, commitment and strategy. Namely, it begins with implementing a customer-focused strategy and building an organizational culture that supports and believes in it.
While on Business Growth Café, Denyse Drummond-Dunn, author of Winning Customer Centricity, explained that creating a culture of customer centricity is as simple as: putting the customer at the center of every business decision. For a customer-focused strategy to truly have impact, it requires the whole company to get behind it, and making it not only a primary focus, but to evolve to the point where it becomes second nature for all employees.
Talking the talk is not enough. Believing in a customer-centric approach is meaningless if not applied. Get on the front line. Get your hands dirty. Live your brand, so you can work to see it through your customer’s eyes. In order for a customer-centric strategy to be implemented, it must be preceded by an intentional cultural shift. The customer is impacted, directly or indirectly, by everyone in your business – from sales to marketing, from top-level executives to the receptionist.
One strategy to bring a customer-centric culture to fruition is to have an individual in your firm act as a “champion” for your consumer – essentially serving as their voice in business decisions and ensuring that the customer is taken into account in all organizational departments and levels. In every meeting or conversation, this “customer representative” should advocate for the customer and take on their voice and persona to raise questions on whether or not the brand is making a move that is in alignment with the target audience. A question should always asked in any of these decision…"what would our customer think about this decision we are making?”
In addition to understanding who your customer is, it is crucial to understand their journey to ensure that the experiences you are creating are in alignment with where they are in their journey, from brand awareness all the way to brand loyalty. By understanding the growth of their emotional involvement, you will gain a deeper, intuitive understanding of how to reach them at every stage.
Our world is changing rapidly, and thus, we need to keep our eye on how our customers are changing as well in these shifting times. How? Well, it can be as simple as ensuring that everyone in the organization spends time connecting with consumers in an effort to accurately understand their wants, needs, motivations, behaviors, etc. So often in business, communication becomes isolated within departmental silos. However, with a customer-centric culture, customers can be the unifying bridge.
For more insight on this topic and much more, listen to my recent interview with Denyse Drummond-Dunn, author of Winning Customer Centricity, on my radio show, Business Growth Café here: