It goes without saying that customers are essential to any business – without their spending, you could never run a profit. Without their feedback, you couldn’t hone your products and services, and without their testimonials, you’d find it harder to attract a solid customer base.
In short, it makes sense that any business aiming for a bright future will want to have its customers in mind at all times.
Of course, while the importance of centering your customer is not lost on any business owner, the test can come when you try to balance that against other instincts. You’re in business presumably because you have a skill set, an enthusiasm and a hard-learned set of principles that make you good at what you do. These abilities can sometimes come into conflict with your previously-stated intention to center the customer – so to help you see how to strike a balance, let’s get to the point with a few questions.
Why Is It Essential to Center the Customer?
No matter what aspect of your business you are dealing with – even if it is not an objectively customer-facing one – the final act of having a business that is attractive to customers is still there.
If you’re hiring new staff, the hiring process is an internal thing – but before long they’ll be dealing with customer expectations, so their views on customer service need to be considered. To set it out in terms of thought process, customer satisfaction needs to inform your focus, even if you’re dealing with something not explicitly to do with customers.
How Do You Center the Customer in a Business?
As noted above, your thinking needs to be informed by customer relations, whatever you’re doing at the time. As a more concrete example, your social media approaches have to consider engaging with the customer in a respectful way.
An ill-considered approach on social media could see you upsetting a customer, losing followers and even becoming the center of a social media storm which then unnerves other existing customers. Think about the way you engage and do business every day, and ask if a customer would be happy to see how you operate. If you can answer “yes”, the end results should speak for themselves.
How Much of Your Focus Needs to Be on the Customer?
In truth, this does depend on what part of the business you are engaged in, but you might be surprised with how often customer considerations become relevant to what you are doing.
Destroying old hardware may seem like an exclusively internal process, but how you do it can have repercussions for customer data security. On the other hand, things like honing the delivery process and modifying your product lines affect the customer very directly – and, in actual fact, it may be prudent to directly ask customers what they think about a decision you’re about to make.
Showing them they have a stake in your business will enhance their loyalty—and that’s an underestimated element of modern business.