Focus On Your Customers

In todays business environment a popular approach to building customer loyalty is through developing a culture of “Extreme Customer Focus.”

While you may have heard the term thrown around, if you are unfamiliar with it, it is basically ensuring your internal culture, your people, work together to deliver on an exceptional set of customer service rules.

But it is more than a simple customer service rules that you might find at a call centre from the 1980’s.

It is about delivering on the key moments. The make or break moments that matter.

Developing a culture of Extreme Customer Focus takes time though, it is a cultural shift, not a quick fix. While you may be up for the journey, you might prefer a faster short term fix?

If the fast fix sounds like you, I have three questions that could change the way you look after your customers. Book a meeting with your best customers (or customers that have recently left you or stopped using your services) and ask them the following:

  1. If there is one thing we could have or could be doing better, what would that be?
  2. Have you received any additional value from our relationship over and above what we were contracted to do?
  3. What is the best experience you have had with us?

You might be wondering what these questions do for you?

Making a change to the way you treat your customers isn’t always easy. But it is essential you keep raising the bar. You cannot accept mediocrity and you cannot allow yourself to get complacent.

Question 1 is a good soft starter. If you sit down with 10 clients and ask them this question, you will discover at least one consistent theme. It’s probably something like communication. Ask them exactly what you could do to do better – and they will tell you exactly what you need to improve.

This becomes action number 1 on your new task list.

Question 2 is interesting because most businesses simply expect you to deliver what was agreed, but those who have experienced a business that surprises and delights their customers, will put you in a box. That box is the “adequate” box. And do you really want to be adequate? When you can be exceptional?

Too often we focus on doing what we said we would do and forget to do great things we didn’t say we would. The pleasant surprises that make a difference. Ask your customers how you can add value to their business, then add these ideas to an “improvement bucket” for your team to work through. The best suggestion makes your immediate action list, just like number 1.

Lastly, question 3 exists to validate what you do well. Because this is your current standard and one you have previously demonstrated you can meet. This becomes your absolute bare-ass minimum standard. Everything you do from now on is geared towards exceeding this standard.

In three questions you have discovered what you can improve, how you can add value and what your lowest standard of acceptance is.

Now, make that action list and delight your customers. Do this, and you will have started your journey of extreme customer focus.

 

– Logan Wedgwood

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