Do you really want to succeed in your business? The answer is very simple, focus on what the customer needs and wants. This is different from focusing on what you want as a business.
This is how simple, and complex it is. Businesses invest millions of dollars in strategy and trainings and often miss this very simple point that you need to develop products that the customer wants to buy, and not what you want to sell.
The Omicron variant is upon us, and once again the “Never Normal” period remains alive.
What this means is that you need to develop a never normal approach in terms of how you deliver customer experience. Customers’ needs are ubiquitous, and businesses that know how to effectively meet them are set for profitability.
Being a customer-focused company doesn’t mean you suddenly become a perfect business that does not make mistakes. This can never happen because businesses are run by human beings who make mistakes.
Customer focus is on building relationships with the customer. This means you have to be willing to learn from your customers and take advantage of those insights to develop better experiences.
Businesses have to be intentional about developing customer focus. You do not accidentally develop customer focus. You have to be deliberate about it.
This has to sink in to your team, so that they wake up to this reality every day. Customer focus is not the responsibility of the customer service department or specific individuals.
It is the responsibility of everyone in the team from the security guard at the premises, to the chairperson of the organisation. Someone can be put off by the reception they receive at the entrance, and you can lose potential business.
Train your team in customer experience as this matters across the organisation. There is no business that grows when it is losing customers.
Customer focus inspires customer loyalty because it is your business’ promise to your customers that you’ll value them, and put them first. No one wants to be treated as an option, when you want them to treat you as a priority.
The essence of customer focus
Customer-focus is a culture that the business has to develop. It is a culture of putting your customers’ needs first. It is these needs that keep you in business.
Focus on the needs of the customer and satisfying them. Businesses that are customer-focused embed in their DNA a culture dedicated to enhancing customer satisfaction and building strong customer relationships.
Research has shown that happy customers tell three to four people about their experience, while unhappy customers relay their disgruntlement to as many as 20 people.
This is now worse in the world of microblogging.
Another research that was conducted showed that, roughly half of customers say they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience. And that number goes to 80 percent in the case of more than one bad experience.
Developing a customer-focused organisation helps you ensure that customers have an amazing experience, and will leave your business feeling good about your brand. Customers are the guiding force for everything that business does.
Customers always have an option
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart once remarked that there is one boss in a business, that is the customer, he can fire everyone from the chairperson to the cleaner by choosing to spend his money elsewhere. This is so true. Clients do have an option (in fact several).
The mistake you can ever make as a business is to think that customers do not have an option. They will simply take their money elsewhere they feel the experience is worth their money.
Be fixated on meeting and servicing the needs of the customers.
The question then is how do you develop customer focus? This is our conversation this week, and the next one. I will share a few thoughts that will help business navigate this part.
#1. Focus on what the customer wants
Nyaradzo Group presents the best way to do this, “We listen, understand and provide solutions.” The funeral industry back then was dominated by traditional players, many of whom did not fully understand African cultures around the burial of a person.
A funeral in the African setup was not in just having a body carried in a black scary hearse and buried in a coffin.
In the African setup it also encompassed the entire process of mourning the deceased and eventually the burial.
One of the noticeable features was the desire by family and friends to accompany the dearly departed to the place of burial and at times it would mean travelling outside the city spending the night there, and then coming the following day.
Back then, that is where the drama would start in terms of transportation. Hiring a bus for many people was a feat too huge for them to fit in.
This became a privilege of a few, who had decent financial resources. Imagine for a moment, you introduce a product that has fairly priced premiums which would cover funerals services for the deceased, hearse and additionally a bus to ferry mourners to and from the place of burial anywhere in Zimbabwe.
This is what Nyaradzo did to an extent of building a fleet that even many bus companies would envy.
It thus takes listening, and fully understanding the nature of the customers concerns and needs, and ask how effectively can you solve the needs of the customers.
You see, business is interesting, many of the things that you need to be successful are actually in the market itself.
You just need to be curious enough to listen, understand and provide solutions.
That is where your money is. Focus on what the customer wants to buy and not what you want to sell. Many businesses go broke whilst they have a solid inventory which no one wants to buy. Take time to listen and understand to your customers’ needs.
Constantly evaluate your business model and check if it is still allowing you to meet the needs of the customers.
Corporates that stick to a business model which is wrong for a product or customer base can find themselves going out of business very quickly.
There is one further truth you need to understand in the world of business, commercial enterprise is not about sellers, it’s about customers.
How do you stay relevant and meeting the needs of your customers? It also means being able to foresee the future, and understand the future needs and start positioning yourself for it. The idea is to match the wants and needs of customers with the interests and passion of the business.
To be continued…
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote speaker, corporate and personal branding speaker commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, strategy and personal and professional development. Arthur is the author of “Toys for Adults” a thought provoking book on entrepreneurship, and “No one is Coming” a book that seeks to equip leaders to take charge. Send your feedback to [email protected] or Visit his website www.arthurmarara.com or contact him on WhatsApp: +263780055152.