Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The 9 Commandments of Being Customer-Centric

You may have heard people say, “It’s not about us. It’s about them, the customer! The implication — what sounds enticing to the recipient — is that these people believe that customer-devoted organizations drive significant profitable revenue growth and they execute strategically against their proclamation daily. Unfortunately, most often, nothing could be further from the truth, which is why many companies’ PRG remains anemic — a sign of a non-customer-focused organization. According to Kansas City Business Journal, here are nine proven methods of living the customer-centric mantra.

9. Your customer’s issues ARE your issues. Third Door clients understand that the function formerly known as sales is now 80 percent “research.” They know that relevancy, demand creation and attraction are the front-end drivers of sustainable PRG, replacing ineffective sales techniques. Therefore, what procedures and technology are used to feed you this information that helps create the desired positioning?

8. Honor thy customer. Think about a card section in a local grocery store that showcases designs by customers, displaying where they’re from by city and state. How do you think that makes the consumer feel? How is your customer council structured and how is the all-important state of co-destiny achieved?

7. Further your customer’s purpose. Try this as a sales call opening: “I understand what you do. However, I’m curious why you do it? If I can understand that more clearly, I can better determine if we’re a good fit.” With this information secured, share how your value proposition helps strengthen the client’s “true north.” And because your organization’s objective should be profitability, so it can provide jobs and sustain the community in which it serves, then your primary prospect qualifier is shared purpose, right? 

6. Help advance customer’s value proposition. The definition of value proposition is, “The crystal clear statement of the tangible results the customer receives from your products, services and experiences.” So how are you positively impacting your customers’ tangible results? If you’re not influencing customers’ key performance indicators then you’re a commodity.

5. Fortify customer’s competitive advantages. What your customer’s top brass wants more than anything else are new, challenging and effective ideas. If you’re in sales, when’s the last time your boss asked, “When is the last three times you challenged a customer and provided new, innovative thoughts?”

4. Delight your customer’s customer. What are the needs of your customer’s customer? The only thing more important to your customer than his/her profitability is creating more happy and loyal customers.

3. Pay it forward. A past client, a well-known restaurant, is led by a chef who had an idea to reward loyal patrons, by surprising them with their favorite dinner served at home, with live music. Then, the couple suggested the chef do the same thing for a family in need they knew. How does this story square with your charitable efforts? As has been said before, the greatest marketing strategy ever devised is care.

2. Employ customer-centric key metrics. How do you integrate the “voice of the customer” into your management dashboard? One team, one all-important score, people. And that “score” should lean toward some type of “customer delight” measurement.
1. Customers help design your value proposition. When strategic planning is performed at your company, the customer’s voice is absent. Have you ever asked customers why they buy from you?

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