When you’re running a small business, you have a lot to think about. You’re laser-focused on getting and staying in the black, scaling your company, and running a profitable enterprise. The over-reaching goal is for your product or service to get the market to stand up and pay attention, and you have the motivation and energy to get your company there.
But things like passion, energy, business acumen, leadership skills, and even ample funding aren’t enough to guarantee a business sees long-term success. Because, the sustainability of a business all comes down to the customer. If you fail to obsess over your customers, if you don’t listen to them, if you don’t blow your customers’ socks off, your competitors will.
At AdviCoach, our business coaches believe customers are a business’s bottom line, and all businesses should too. Want to drive traffic to your business through word-of-mouth and increase sales? Start obsessing about creating customers who are so satisfied, they can’t imagine giving their business to anyone else. That’s what companies like Amazon, Apple, and Southwest Airlines have done and there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.
“But how do I make my customers happy like America’s favorite brands?” Don’t sweat the small stuff, and teach your employees that when it comes to customer interaction, it’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s about customer satisfaction, which translates to two important things: 1) customer retention, and 2) more business.
It takes courage to take your business to the next level and courage starts with the customer. Not sure how to create a customer-centric enterprise? Here’s some key pieces of advice from our business coaches:
- Start by obsessing over your customers. Even if you make a mistake, make it right. This approach will help you retain customers.
- Invent products or services on your customers’ behalf. This means listen to their pain points and provide them with solutions.
- Listen to your customers, whether it’s positive or negative feedback. Your customers are your greatest source of inspiration and innovation.
- Approach your business by starting with the customer and working your way backward. As your business grows, stay focused on this core principle.
- Always deliver more than is expected.
- Without being asked, create value for your customers.
- Make it a priority to find new ways to delight your customers every day.
Empowering Your Employees to Please Customers
This is where a lot of businesses go wrong. They’ll create a “customer care” or “customer service” call center, but their employees will have zero power or authority to please the customers. A customer will call and they’ll get nowhere, even if they talk to a supervisor. No one on the other end of the call has the power to make things right for the customer.
Sometimes, a business has plenty of employees to handle customers but they will be instructed to say “No” whenever a customer has a problem. This is where employees hit brick walls, and unsatisfied customers leave and never come back. If the customer experience leaves little to be desired, it’s going to hurt the company’s bottom line.
Our coaches advise business owners to not only deliver stellar customer service, but to empower employees to do the same. We must remember that business is all about relationships and that’s never changed. Encourage employees to build relationships with customers, to get to know them. This strategy is not only extremely effective, but it’s powerful and it works. People may not always remember the details of a transaction, but they’ll remember how it made them feel.
Creating a Customer-Centric Business
When you create a customer-centric business, your customers will have a real affinity for your company, and as a result you’ll have a much stronger business. Remember, an excellent customer experience translates to a reliable brand that consumers trust. So, while your competition is busy offering an impersonal experience, do the exact opposite. Focus on fostering relationships with your customers and infuse that in everything you do. Live up to your promises and watch as you build undeniable confidence in your brand.
At AdviCoach, our coaches teach small business owners that their brand is their persona, so they should make an effort to be warm and personable. When businesses do that, they resonate with people and it drives business in the door. If you’d like to learn more about mastering the fine art of customer experience, we invite you to contact us to get the conversation started with a business coach.