How Leaders can Successfully Lead a Customer-first Strategy Adoption

As a leader, you know that customer centricity is critical to the success of your business. However, it is not enough to pay lip service to this concept; you must make it an integral part of your company’s culture and business strategy.

In this post, we will explore what customer centricity means, why it is essential, and how you, as a leader, can successfully lead a customer-first strategy adoption in your organization.

 

Defining Customer Centricity

Customer centricity is a business strategy that puts the customer at the heart of everything the company does. It involves understanding the needs and desires of your customers and then tailoring your products and services to meet them.

Customer centricity is not just about providing excellent customer service; it’s about creating a culture of customer obsession that permeates every aspect of the business. This is why it must be a company objective.

 

Why is a Customer-first Strategy Important?

There are several reasons why a customer-first strategy is crucial for the success of your business. First and foremost, it helps you build a loyal customer base.

When customers feel that a company truly understands their needs and is committed to meeting them, they are more likely to become repeat customers and recommend the company to others. This can help you increase revenue and grow your business.

Customer centricity can also help you differentiate yourself from your competitors. In today’s highly competitive business environment, standing out from the crowd can be challenging.

However, suppose you can demonstrate that you are genuinely committed to meeting your customers’ needs. That’s a great way to distinguish yourself from other companies that are just going through the motions.

Finally, customer centricity can help you stay ahead of the curve regarding new product and service development. By constantly seeking customer feedback, you can identify emerging trends and stay ahead of the competition. This can help you develop new offers that meet your customer’s needs today and tomorrow.

 

Leading a Customer-first Strategy in Your Organization

Implementing a customer-first strategy in your organization requires a significant shift in mindset and culture. Here are the steps you can take to make customer-centricity a reality in your business:

 

1. Start with the CEO

As a business leader, you need to lead by example.

Make it clear to your employees that customer centricity is a top priority for the company.

Set measurable goals and hold your team accountable for achieving them.

This sends a strong message to everyone in the organization that customer-centricity is not just a buzzword but a fundamental part of the business strategy.

 

2. Understand Your Customers

To be truly customer-centric, you need to understand your customers deeply.

This means going beyond demographic data and understanding their motivations, pain points, and desires.

Watch and listen to your customers frequently. Conduct customer research, including surveys and focus groups, to gain insights into what your customers want and need.

Collect the information in a customer persona/avatar template. If you don’t have

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Post Covid People are Searching for More Meaningful Connection & Engagement

I know, you probably don’t want to read yet another article about the post-pandemic era. But bear with me; this is about customer connection and engagement.

Since covid, people have changed their perspective on many categories. They have also adapted their purchasing behaviour following lockdown. So this seems to be the perfect time to reconsider our customer-first strategies, doesn’t it?

Up until the covid-19 virus infected the globe, almost every single organisation, big or small, recognised the importance of satisfying their customers. However, most of them were only giving lip service to customer-centricity. Very few were actually going beyond voicing their opinions.

So I have some bad news if you are in this first group and it’s this. Not actioning a customer-first approach in everything you do is no longer an option. You were be called out, most probably very publically online. Customers are sharing their experiences of companies and brands far more than they were doing before the pandemic.

It makes sense. What else did we have to do than surf the internet all day long? And this habit seems to have remained. According to the latest global statistics, back in 2020, the average consumer spent 474 minutes a day on digital media. By 2023, that number is predicted to rise, according to the experts, to 500 minutes on digital media.

Taking a closer look at social media use trends, business owners and marketers can learn a great deal about opportunities to boost engagement and business impact as the new norm continues to evolve.

The article by Business.com lists four things consumers are looking for:

  1. They want to be entertained – understandable when you consider how much time they are spending online.
  2. Unlocking creativity – they are not only consuming content, but they are also creating it in larger quantities than ever before.
  3. They want connection and comfort – people are desperate to overcome their isolation and connect with others, so online multiplayer gaming and chat have surged.
  4. They seek positive content to cheer them up – it’s a natural human response to seek uplifting, inspirational content during difficult times.

If I were to sum up these four desires, I would say that people are looking for more connection and engagement. Exactly what a customer-first strategy provides! But there are things to avoid.

[bctt tweet=”Customers have four desires when online, that can be summarised as simply a desire for more connection and engagement. Exactly what a customer-first strategy provides! #CEX #CustomerFirst #CustomerCentricity #CMO” username=”Denysech”]

When an organisation decides to become more customer centric, there are many mistakes that are commonly made. This article “7 Reasons for Failure When Adopting a Customer First Strategy” gives the main ones and makes a complementary read to this post.

But today’s world has accelerated the upward trend of the importance of a customer-first strategy and makes it one of the most, if not the most important one for all organisations.

It is no longer the norm, or even the new norm, of successful … Click to continue reading

Essentials of a Customer First Strategy Every Industry Needs to Adopt

Every business should strive to improve their customers’ experience with their products and services. Adopting a customer first strategy is therefore often mentioned as a company objective. Unfortunately, it rarely goes beyond the theory in most organisations, so I decided to help out with these six suggestions.

Hospitality is perhaps one of the most visible industries where customer satisfaction, or lack of, is quickly shared with the world.  (Read my last post for more on this)

It is true that without satisfaction, customers will not return to a hotel or restaurant. And they will almost certainly share their (bad) experiences with anyone who will listen – including online!

Hospitality is also one of the industries that receives the most comments online, thanks to TripAdvisor and other booking sites. There is no hiding from their clients!

Now while I empathise, this is not all bad news. Because it means that great service will also be more quickly known about online. Therefore you can make changes and see the results almost immediately, or at least far quicker than in most other businesses.

However, despite this, I believe that the hospitality industry has a lot it can learn from consumer packaged goods (CPG) where improvements take the consumer longer to appreciate. In fact most other industries could benefit from taking a look at some of CPG’s best-in-class processes.

Both the hospitality and CPG industries have their customers at their heart; after all it’s in their name. They are both founded on pleasing and hopefully delighting their clientele in the quality of the products and services they offer.

However, as the world changes, customer demands do too and companies need to stay current if not ahead of these requirements, in order to ensure continued growth.

 

The 6 essentials of a customer first strategy

#1. From ROI / ROR to ROE

There has been a lot of talk recently on moving from a return on investment to a return on relationship metric. While I agree with the importance of relationships, I believe that what we should be talking about is engagement. Be honest, other than the author of the once popular book that started talking about brand love, who wants to have a relationship with a brand?!

Brands that have a high following and loyalty have found a way to consistently engage their fans and keep them coming back. They become involved and interested in the brand, the product, their website, even their communications.

Coca Cola and Red Bull are great examples of this. You should also check out another post entitles “Increasing Impact & Engagement through Advertising Testing.”

 

#2. Building Relationships with Strangers

While the hospitality industry is based on serving and satisfying its guests, in today’s connected world, it also needs to consider people who are currently strangers – but who could potentially become clients.

These might be the friends of current guests, who for example the Rosewood Mayakoba resort in Mexico tries to attract. Let me explain.

This wonderful … Click to continue reading

Adopting a Customer First Strategy. Even the Police Can Get it Right!

In most countries, the population have a love / hate relationship with their police. You can imagine my surprise, therefore, to find myself writing about how they appear to be adopting a customer first strategy in Switzerland!

Let me explain. A few years ago they introduced a new-style speed radars in the villages around my home town. The elements are not that new per se, I know, but last week it suddenly hit me why these speed cameras seem to be so effective. It’s simple; they’re customer centric! The Swiss police have adopted a customer first strategy! And that’s why I want to share more about this story here.

 

Background

One of the reasons why the Police are disliked in many (dare I say most?) countries, is because of their insidious speed controls.

Whether they are permanent fixtures as on the right, or temporary ones, we all dislike the flash that tells us it’s too late, that we’ve been “caught.”

We then wait a few days, to weeks or even months, naively hoping that it wasn’t our car that was flashed. But eventually the letter arrives asking us to pay a fine.

I think the worst of them all are the laser guns that the Police have been using for many years now. We don’t even know we’ve been flashed until the communication arrives at our home! Or we are pulled up a few hundred meters down the road.

 

The relatively new types of radar that are being introduced in my home area don’t flash either. But that’s because we never get “caught” as such.

You see they measure our speed and give us immediate feedback. Take a look at the photo on the right; I’m sure you’ve seen such installations before in your own area.

Now if we make the assumption that all four types of equipment are to get road users to decrease their speed in critical areas – and not just to gather money as I’ve heard suggested – then the results must vary widely.

 

 

So let me share my thoughts from the perspective of a customer first strategy champion.

 

What This Has to Do with Your business

So why is this example relevant for you and your own customer first strategy? Well, ask yourself what you really want for your business? 

In the case of the police, I am assuming that they want to reduce the speed of drivers in certain areas and make the roads safer for everyone. In this case, the customer-centric approach, which has by far the most success at slowing drivers down to within the speed limit along a larger portion of the road, is the information panel. If that is their objective, then the Police in every country should adopt these new style radars.

But if those who consider speed checks to be a mere money-making operation are right, then the Police will continue to use one of their other options. And they must accept the … Click to continue reading

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