Many organisations would claim to be Customer-focused and, indeed, hold it up as their USP and a reason to do business with them. In truth, to say you’re focused on your customers should really come as standard. Keeping customers happy and giving them the products and services they need is basic business common sense.
However, being just Customer-focused is the old way of doing things; to be truly successful you need to start being Customer-centric – an entirely different approach.
Customer-focused organisations address customer needs as a way of addressing business goals. They look at how they can get more business by creating a product or service that is ‘better’ than the competitors (and in the software industry this often means ‘has more functionality’) or is cheaper than the competitors. The reasons for being Customer-focused are about maximising revenue and this often comes across as a bit self-serving.
Customer-centric organisations aren’t just responding to customer needs. They spend time properly understanding their needs and creating a strategy that brings long-term mutual benefits. And they do all of this while delivering a great product to the customer and creating an easy and positive experience for their customers to buy. The revenue which results from this approach is a result of the degree to which their customers have been satisfied.
Customer-focused organisations make decisions that superficially address customer expectations, driven by their desire for improved profit performance. Customer-centric organisations make meaningful changes in order to address their customer’s expectations.
And it’s the Customer-centric approach that results in increased engagement, support, loyalty – and essentially profits – from a happy, expanding customer base.
Many thanks to guest contributor and Product Strategy Leader, Nick Finnemore. Read more from Nick and get in touch with him here.