Are you exceeding the needs of your customers?

It is all too easy for your customers to switch to your competitors who are only a click away.

In a very uncertain world our company values, vision and mission can give us some stability. They can provide the foundations for our decision-making, both the what and the how. That apart we are all operating in a world where the only constant is change. Many of the old rules no longer apply and in the digital age the speed of your decision-making is imperative.

Differentiating your service or product offering is important. Being able to articulate what you do in a simple, compelling way is vital but meeting your customer’s needs every day at every touchpoint is the real challenge. Is your business truly customer centric?

‘Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first’ – Simon Sinek Your people are integral to your customer experience.

How much do you value your team? Is your service culture evident right across your business? What does your culture look like from an employee perspective? Spend some time reviewing your employee journey and ensure they are empowered to meet the needs of the customer and truly champion your brand.

Why you?

What is the true value of your brand? Have you taken time to articulate why you do what you do? If it isn’t clear to you how are you going to convince a potential customer to buy. Think of brands that you admire and ask yourself why. Not only do they have a compelling story but they have taken the time to ensure the story is understood across the business and evident at every customer interaction. ‘If people like you, they will listen to you but if they trust you, they will do business with you’ – Zig Ziglar. Trust comes from authenticity, consistency and the firm belief in your customer’s mind that they are the reason you get out of bed in the morning.

KISS (keep it simple stupid)

Remember that in this digital age the good old goldfish has a greater memory than us humans. Keep your message simple, appeal to as many senses as possible and remember that your customer’s comments are far more believable than yours. Lastly make it memorable. It is now video, rather than pictures, that tell a thousand words.

Wearing your customer’s shoes

When was the last time you tried them on?

Conduct both quantitative and qualitative customer research and engage with those closest to the customer experience. You’ll be surprised by what you find out. Customers love to be asked but you might want to engage folk who specialise in customer insight to ensure you ask the right questions.

Understand MY needs

Generic marketing was acceptable in years gone by but with the wonders of modern technology and social media platforms you can now market to the individual. It is now expected for your company to communicate what I want, when I want it, understanding my preferred method of receiving it.

Innovate with your vision in mind

Watch out for disruptors in your sector. They are fleet of foot, customer obsessed and probably armed with some techno wizards. However, if you are going to innovate make sure it is something that your customer cares about. Innovation for innovation’s sake is a waste of resource, time and money.

What’s working

How well do you know what your customer thinks about your service? What does your customer feedback look like? Create a customer satisfaction model that makes it easy for your customer to talk to you, irrespective of their chosen method of communication. Analyse the results, prioritise and focus on some solutions before your competitor does. Oh and keep your customer up to date with progress. Listening is one thing, but action is what will set you apart.

Get an external view

It is difficult to view your business from the outside. Use your network. Talk to your customers, even use your friends but most importantly find a marketing partner who can be your guide, develop your strategy and help you create an integrated marketing plan that will delight your customers and deliver measurable results. And remember…

‘Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job’.