Customers hold the key to the success of any company.
So it’s vital that for your organisation to get ahead of the competition, you need to listen to your customers.
It seems that everyone knows this – and yet most organisations struggle to keep the customers at the forefront of the business.
Those who do take on such a mentality – and are scaling customer focus – are the ones who are seeing the biggest growth in customer base and in profit.
Did you know that happy customers are five times as likely to repurchase and three times as likely to recommend a business than unhappy customers?
So how can you ensure that your organisation is a leader rather than a laggard?
There’s plenty that can be done, and some are simpler than you think.
Putting the customer first doesn’t have to be an expensive ordeal – but it does have to be a well thought out one.
The six key ingredients
One of the most vital parts of any organisation is the role of the leader. Look at a successful organisation, chances are there was a strong leader at the helm of the company.
It is the responsibility of those at the very top to create a customer-centric culture.
Without this kind of leadership, the chances of creating the maximum is low.
It’s a domino effect – if the leader believes in putting the customer first, then it will be followed by the lower managers and eventually all the team members in the organisation.
Remember, leaders set the tone for the organisation.
Vision and clarity
Going hand in hand with strong leadership, is having a vision that is clear and simple to follow.
It needs to be specific so that everyone within the organisation can easily understand the common goal.
The language that you use is crucial as it is a part of the “vision” you are trying to convey.
Short simple statements are recommended.
It’s important that the vision you create is something that everyone – team members and customers – can support.
While it is important to put the customer first and value their experience, you cannot ensure happy customers without happy team members.
Employees need to be engaged and committed to sharing the vision you and your organisation are hoping to achieve.
To truly engage your workforce, you have to understand them – what do they like about their work? What do they dislike?
Get feedback from them about what they think might make the customers happier.
If your team members feel like they are involved in the implementation of better customer service, they will be more engaged.
Listening and learning
This is one of the simplest step that so many organisations get wrong – listening to your customer and learning from what they say.
The best way to do this is by having a systematic method for monitoring and collecting customer feedback.
This process is only half done when you have collected this information – if you want to see real improvements in your customer experience, organisations have to adapt to the customer.
With that collected information, really analyse what people want and how those changes and improvements can be implemented in the organisation.
Alignment and action
For an organisation to succeed – all the different “parts” need to be aligned and working together.
If your organisation is marching towards the same vision, and everyone knows what role they have to play, the more likely the organisation to find success.
In terms of action, these are measurable steps that are taken to improve customer experience.
This requires a clear plan of what needs to be done and by who.
If everyone involved is not aligned, then you’ll find the actionable steps that are taken will be less effective.
Patience and commitment
This is probably the most challenging step that organisations deal with – have the patience to see results.
You’ll often find that most places want a quick band-aid fix, they want to see improvements and real results overnight. But that’s not how it works.
Creating the right customer culture takes time, requires planning and it cannot be outsourced.
Like it or not, the most successful customer- centric organisations in the world are built in an iterative fashion over a number of years.
These organisations are not rigid in their method either – it is slowly altered, practices are refined, and action becomes widespread and aspirational.
It takes all six of these “key ingredients” to truly succeed in customer culture.
It is imperative that along this journey, leadership must demonstrate patience and commitment to the process and vision.
By Lauren TodorovicOriginally published on the CXforum