For each process, system, and role in your organization, it’s beneficial to think about it from your customer’s perspective. This requires an outside-looking-in approach. This isn’t you looking out at the customer trying to assign them to categories. It’s thinking about your business as an outsider would view it.
Outside Looking In
If you have silos in your business where departments don’t or can’t communicate, your customer isn’t going to care. When a customer looks at your business, they see it as one entity. You have to make it count.When a customer looks at your business, they see it as one entity. Make it count. Click To Tweet
This is why you must look at your business from the customer’s viewpoint, from the outside looking in. If you try to create change in your business from an inside looking out approach, you’re likely to create more problems.
Each department or person looking out at the customer will see something different. So it’s imperative to look at your business from the customer’s vantage point. This allows you to analyze your business from a single vantage point instead of multiple, often competing, perspectives.
But Why Is The Customer First?
It’s true your business exists to make money. If you have a so-called lifestyle business, it allows you to live life on your terms, hopefully sooner rather than later. At the core of your financial efforts, though, is the customer.
Conventional wisdom used to say, “The customer is always right.” This gets many businesses in trouble, though, especially if they don’t have a good understanding of what makes them unique or they are not clear on the value they provide. They can spin their wheels trying to keep all the “right” customers happy. The quickest way to create unhappy customers is to try to keep them all happy.
Knowing what makes your organization unique and the value you provide to a specific type of customer allows you to focus your energy on reaching and serving those customers. Your efforts aren’t diluted by trying to reach everyone.
Because you know the demographics, psychographics, preferences, and expectations of your ideal customer, you can take a look at your business and ask questions like:
- Does this make sense to our ideal customer?
- Does our marketing help the customer understand how we can meet their needs?
- Does our language resonate with the customer?
- What is our customers’ biggest pain or desire?
- What could we do to solve our customers’ biggest pain or meet their greatest desire?
- What can we do with this interaction to make the customers’ job easier? With this process? During this support call?
- What should we be doing that we’re not doing to help our customers?
- What are we doing that doesn’t add value to our customers, and should therefore stop doing?
If you’ve been in business for a while, it’s easy to get into a rut in some areas and keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. But as customer needs and preferences change, especially with rapid technological advances, your business is missing opportunities if it doesn’t meet the customer’s need in the way they expect it to be met.
If you’re not there to let people know you can solve their biggest problem, guess who will be glad to help them?
You guessed it – your competition.
What ways have you looked at your business from the customer perspective?
What changes did you make to meet the customer needs?