Creating a real competitive edge for your business is easily achieved when you genuinely focus on your customers. When you move away from internal assumptions and design solutions and experiences that are based on actual customer needs, you will achieve a more cohesive brand that creates intimate connections with your customers, driving growth and increasing loyalty.
So how does a company truly become more customer centric? See 6 practical ways below that will help you to better understand your customer and keep them front of mind.
Implement a ‘Customer Chair’ in meeting rooms
One of the easiest but most effective methods I’ve ever used was to set up the ‘voice of the customer’ (VOC) chair. Whoever sits in the VOC chair, must for the duration of the meeting, portray the customer. In internal meetings, it ensures discussions are challenged, customer’s preferences and behaviors are reflected upon and customer impact is always considered, keeping your business true to creating a customer centric culture.
Map out your customer journey
Creating a map of your customer’s journey helps to create an overview of your target audiences end to end user experience. Walking through their journey at each step, from their perspectives you’ll better understand their needs at each interaction and where opportunities exist to improve. It will also help to ensure your future decisions are informed by your customers needs, ensuring you’re designing for them and resulting in increased customer loyalty and growth.
Co-design with real customers
Involving the customer in your design process for products, services or experiences helps close the gap between internal assumption and the customers points of view. Co-designing can involve bringing real customers into sessions like design workshops to work together with your internal teams to develop solutions. Collaboration in person with customers in this way ensures the most relevant, valuable, solutions are created for them.
Create employee KPIs around being the Customer Champion
Linking customer centric values to your employees performance reviews also ensure they are prioritizing the customer at all times. Setting a company value to be the ‘customer champion’ and ensuring every employee must have an example of how they have delivered on this, to ensure they receive performance based incentives, will ensure it stays front of mind for all employees.
Regularly collect customer feedback
Collating customer feedback shows customers you value their opinion and can be done at varying levels. Via today’s digital platforms short form feedback can be collected via SMS, In APPs, online or via purpose built platforms like NZ owned Ask Nicely. For more detailed insights conducting a survey or conducting user testing sends lets you have deeper conversations and sends a strong message to your customers that you want to design for them to deliver the best solutions or experience possible.
Meet your customers in real life
Prioritize creating opportunities for employees at all levels to interact with customers directly. Every employee impacts the customer experience, even if its indirectly, so interacting with customers and better understanding them will help your team to better deliver and feel more motivated in their roles. It can be as simple as the IT team sitting on call centre phone calls, the product team hosting face to face focus groups, or the HR team going out on the road with sales reps. Each interaction not only helps brings your team closer to the customer, it also makes the customers feel valued that you care and prioritize this.
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