Have you ever wondered how companies like Apple, Virgin and Starbucks keep their competitive advantage? It usually comes down to the same thing, and that is, the businesses who are successful are the ones who have a customer focused culture. They are absolutely customer centric, and create their entire culture around their customers.
Why? Because now, more than ever before, customers are in the pound seat, and they are very quick to jump ship if they feel they can be treated better elsewhere.
And we all know, loyalty is a rare commodity, but if you and your marketing team can create an exceptional customer experience culture and strategy, then your brand and business will definitely gain that competitive advantage.
Customer Focused Business Culture
A recent research study was done, where successful businesses and customer experience experts where asked ONE simple question – “What’s the one thing you recommend businesses should do to gain a competitive advantage?”
The answer was the same across the board…CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE!
The answer rang loud and clear, especially to most businesses who were more product and service focused. Yes, having a great product and service is important, but that should be the bare basic. Businesses need to focus on creating a total impeccable customer experience, meaning from the first touchpoint with your business, right through to purchase and post purchase.
The best way to accomplish this, is by starting with your business and culture, you need to evaluate the type of culture you have. To gain and keep that competitive edge, you have to create an environment among your team where everyone is completely customer obsessed. Making and keeping your customers exceptionally happy should be the main focus of your business.
How to Create a Customer Focused Culture
Creating a customer focused culture starts at the top and needs to spark the livelihood of the rest of your business. You need to get your business’s leaders excited and then they can spark the excitement in the rest of your business base.
You need to business team to want to create a culture where they all truly believe and embrace the idea of building trust and quality relationships with customers. From there, it’s all about celebrating moments in which team members go above and beyond the status quo with customer service.
It’s all about creating a culture that embraces and celebrates quality customer experiences. It’s about building real and lasting relationships.
Customer Focused Business Culture Tips
Creating a standout customer experience is an all-hands approach. Every employee needs to understand the importance of their individual contribution when it comes to customer happiness and the overall experience.
Nikki Baird – VP of Retail Innovation, Aptos
If companies truly want to deliver an outstanding customer experience, they need to first walk a mile in their customers’ shoes.
The companies who do that—who actually send people to talk to customers in their homes, who follow them around as they shop—these are the companies who get real insights into the challenges of their customers’ daily lives, and have the opportunity to either solve meaningful problems in meaningful ways, or find ways to delight and inspire and jolt (in a good way) customers out of the everyday ruts that we all occupy.
Mike Wittenstein – Managing Partner, StoryMiners
Go into the field and get the same experience your business is giving your customers.
Go ahead and shop at your store, check in to your hotel. Buy something online and return it. Call to return what you have bought. This technique works because it adds “how you feel” to the data you gather.
It’s ‘old’ advice, but it’s one of the most powerful tools that for winning internal support and getting your team members on the same page. The added perspective of regularly experiencing experiences first-hand is priceless!
Talia Wolf – Founder and Chief Optimizer, Getuplift
Your customer is more than a dot on a map, gender, device, or browser. The key to creating high-converting pages is to understand the people behind the screen. The key to delivering an outstanding customer experience, and high converting leads, is by making it about the customer.
After reading what the experts have to say about creating a customer focused business culture, you get the idea that before you can create a magical customer experience, you need to live and feel your customer journey.
When you live and feel your customer journey, you know where the loop holes are for improvement. You know where your business is regarding customer experience, you know where you want to be, and you know exactly how to close the gaps to go from where you are, to where you want to be in business.
When we coach and develop businesses, we use the SGROW process to turn this into a reality.
Getting to Know Your Customers
Speak to your customers one-on-one and ask them about their pains, their challenges, and their desired outcomes and then show those on your pages. Your customer journey should walk them through their experiences, their emotions, what they’ve tried, how they feel right now (before finding a solution), how they want to feel, and showing them how you can make that come true.
Rather than highlighting your product, features, and pricing, highlight the customer, make it about them. Trigger those feel good and sensitive emotions
- Their concerns
- Their hesitations
- The emotional triggers that drive their decision-making process
Once you know the true intent of your customer and their emotional drivers, it is 10 times easier to identify and create the right touchpoints for your shop and website.
Everything, including high sales and conversion rates, fall into place when you make the customer the focus point and not just your product or service. In a customer focused business culture, this is both attainable and sustainable.
Method Marketing and Customer Focus
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, with method marketing. Method marketing is a term that was coined by the marketer Denny Hatch. It’s inspired by the “method” approach to acting. Try role play with your employees.
When Robert De Niro went to New York to film the movie Taxi Driver, he arrived early and proceeded to get a job as a real taxi driver. For two weeks, he worked long shifts.
By the time filming began, De Niro was no longer a Hollywood celebrity trying to imagine how it must feel to be a taxi driver, because he actually was a taxi driver, and knows what it feels like to be in their shoes.
He had experienced the dangers. He had suffered the fatigue. And he felt at home in his car. He had gained the unspoken knowledge of a real taxi driver.
When tasked with measurably improving the customer experience, get your team members to first become the customer and live the life of the customer. So, by the time they are dealing with customers, they are dealing from the heart.
You have to demonstrate that you genuinely care about your customers, and that you’re working tirelessly to make their lives better. If that’s your guidepost for outstanding customer experiences, then you really cannot go wrong.