Increasing customer focus: five practical tips
Recent market research has shown, not for the first time, that wanting to increase their customer focus is always at the top of the wish list of companies in almost all sectors. Putting the customer at the center of everything you do; it sounds simple, but the experienced entrepreneur will know that it can still be ugly in practice. However, the wish is not crazy: after all, practice shows time and again that companies that perfect their customer focus are the ultimate buyer. But how do you do that, increase your customer focus? We help you on your way with five practical tips.
Tip 1: Work multichannel
Little is more annoying for customers than hearing different stories at different customer entrances. Or, as an answer to your telephone question, we hear that you should have sent an email. It is fine if you serve your customers through different channels, but always let them work together and offer total service through every channel. Don't make your problem the customer's problem. Ideally, you do not set up your underlying organization separately (per channel), but the implementation in each channel is simply part of each project.
Tip 2: Look for your purple crocodile
You know, that one annoyance that gives you a complaint from a customer every week. Often there isn't even much you can do about it. Maybe it's because of an annoying supplier that you simply need, or because of a faltering piece of software that you can't ignore. And yet: you have to fix this, sooner than later. The moment you accept a purple crocodile into your organization, you accept that you will lose the competition.
Bonus tip: most companies have more than one purple crocodile…
Tip 3: Reward behavior instead of results
The sales department has to sell and the service department has to solve problems. So we reward sales based on their sales and service based on their handling time. However? Result: customers get products pushed down their throats that they don't need. If they complain about this, they will be turned off as soon as possible.
If you still think you can summarize your company's performance in a few numbers and drop them as targets at your departments, you've really missed a few turns. It is great to monitor and act on the results and performance of your company, but never judge your staff on those figures. Train them in the behavior you want to see, because you believe this is customer-oriented behavior. Coach them on it. Make them better. And then look afterwards, quietly for yourself, to see if those numbers improve.
Tip 4: Invest in your customer, not in your product
Customers hate the feeling of not being taken seriously. That they can only bring their money and then leave. Therefore, in every phase of your customer relationship, invest in your customer instead of in your product or in yourself. Get to know your customers, build a personal rapport and show them that they are valued. Do you employ many sales agents? Then have them all, one by one, exhibit the same behavior. The gun factor is a factor that should not be underestimated.
Tip 5: Take everyone in your organization with you
Nice, all those customer-oriented plans. But in the end, your organization also exists by the grace of the people who go to work there every day. Make sure they know your vision, want to fight for it and commit to it day after day. It wouldn't be the first time that excellent policies have been cut because of disinterested staff not executing them. Gather the right people around you and be sure that they want to become the most customer-oriented company in the Netherlands, together with you. Only then can you actually make that attempt.