Customer centricity is a buzz phrase right now, as companies try to put their customers at the heart of everything they do. If small businesses are going to compete with big companies, they have to play to their strengths, and customer centricity could be the difference that gives you a competitive edge. Here are some practical tips on how to achieve it:
1. Start with a customer storyWhether it is positive or negative, try starting a meeting with a story about a customer experience you have witnessed. Ask others to share their own stories and everyone present will continue that meeting considering every decision?s impact on the customer.
It is easy to fall into the habit of focusing on the internal consequences of our decisions, and little details like sharing customer experiences can really change the mentality of a team.
2. What are your annoying little habits?Every company has small but irritating details that harm the customer experience. Ask your team to make a list of five things that they know customers don?t like, then work out how you can solve these problems by addressing internal issues that have been getting in the way. Eliminating them one-by-one will improve the customer experience and make staff feel that they?re making a difference. If you?re struggling to spot the problems, your customers will be happy to point them out.
3. Focus on a new customer every dayEach customer makes up a small part of a bigger picture, so try to focus on a new one every day. Your customers have their own projects and by keeping track of what they are doing and congratulating them on their achievements, you will understand better what your target group is doing, get a feel for their environment and strengthen your relationship.
4. Ask customers for feedbackYour customers are source of endless ideas, so make it a daily habit to ask for feedback. You will find customers appreciate the opportunity to share their thoughts. Social media can be a good platform for asking questions, but why not simply give them a call or invite them into the office for a coffee? Remember, you?re not trying to sell; you?re simply trying to improve the service you give them.
5. Publicly reward customer-oriented staffIf you?re going to offer an outstanding customer experience, all staff must be onboard. Praising good examples is a perfect way to illustrate desired behaviour and make others realise how much you value customer-centricity. This new attitude will quickly spread and your company?s customer-centricity will soar. Prof. Steven Van Belleghem is author of The Conversation Company and The Conversation Manager. Follow him on twitter @StevenVBe or visit: www.stevenvanbelleghem.com Image source
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