We all like to think strategically. So do I. Naturally, a company should always devise a well-thought-out strategy and stick to it. Once the strategy is decided, though, it is time for action. Companies usually elaborate several major projects to implement the strategy. That’s also necessary and I’m all for it.
Still, there’s something else that’s often forgotten: making a list of ten details that symbolize the implementation of the strategy. More and more, I’m starting to believe in the impact of small, tactical but symbolic things to tweak the way a company is positioned with customers and its own staff.
The big issue today is customer-centricity. More than ever, companies try to put the customer front and center, only to be faced with limitations. Subsequently, the focal point of the discussion switches to the adjustment of processes and flows, but it’s also fun to have a little brainstorming session on how to make the customer the center of attention by making small adjustments. Little things that change the way both customers and staff perceive your company. In this article I’ve listed five examples which, in my opinion, will do the trick. As always, please feel free to add comments and share your ideas on ‘minor changes with a major impact’.
1. Start every meeting with a story about a customer
When you walk into your next meeting, start off by telling a story about a customer. The story can be either positive or negative; the important thing is that it’s a story that you yourself have heard, seen or witnessed. Have everyone present share their own customer story and continue the meeting with the customer in mind. When making decisions, try to imagine how they will impact the customer.
You will find that such a small detail is enough to change the vibe of a meeting. Focusing on the customer at the start of the meeting makes it more likely that your decisions will be in line with the customers’ desires. During meetings we tend to focus too much on the internal consequences of our decisions. And you know what they say: ‘If the eyes are facing the inside of the company, the ass is facing the customer’.
2. Identify those annoying little aspects of your company
Every company has them: small but irritating details that can make for a negative customer experience. And it really is in the details. Make a list of five things that you know customers don’t like but that you haven’t addressed yet for purely internal reasons. Then try to determine how you can solve these problems. Identifying a few of those little aspects every month and eliminating them slowly but surely will optimize the customer experience. This is the kind of thing that can really boost word of mouth about your brand. The trick is seeing those aspects. If you don’t, just ask your customers: they will be happy to point them out.
3. Put a new customer in the spotlight every day
Focus on a new customer story every day. Your customers and consumers are often involved in important projects. Try to keep track of what they are doing. Congratulate them on their achievements and, if possible, put them in the limelight on a public forum. This will have two consequences: first of all, you’ll be compelled to keep track of what your target group and your customers are doing so you’ll get a better feel for their environment. Secondly, you will make the customer/consumer in question happy and proud. This will strengthen your relationship, which ultimately benefits your company.
4. Ask one customer a day for feedback
Making a daily habit of asking consumers for feedback creates a continuous influx of feedback and ideas. Your customers will also be very appreciative of the opportunity to give feedback. You can ask your customers questions on social media from time to time, but it is just as relevant to simply give them a call: ask them what they think of the service you provide or invite them for a cup of coffee… You’re not trying to sell them something; you’re simply trying to improve your service. This is a rare opportunity for a customer and they will be more than happy to help you.
5. Congratulate customer-oriented staff in public
All staff must be prepared to pamper the customer in order to create the ultimate customer experience. Good examples are the perfect way of illustrating the desired behavior for the rest of the team. Look for staff who do an exemplary job and make a point of congratulating them in public. The other staff will be quick to realize how much you value customer-centricity. Step by step, this new attitude will pervade the entire organization and your company’s customer-centricity will soar to unprecedented heights.
These are just five simple suggestions on how to make your company more customer-centric. Please feel free to make your own suggestions. It’s an interesting brainstorming subject, by the way, and it will be fun to put these suggestions into practice as of tomorrow. The return is immediate. Just give it a try.
More Business articles from Business 2 Community: