Customer focus development

Customer focus is more than just adding directions to your company’s mission statement or sending everyone to training. The training part is just one piece of the total package. Everyone has a customer they want to satisfy and therefore the focus has to address needs, expectations, and behaviors. Customer focus challenges a company to adjust certain aspects of an organization to align with customer values through new strategies, organizational design, business processes, performance measures, information and support.

Working as a group, customer service representatives can identify what they deem as important ways to satisfy customers. Here are some suggestions:

  • Meeting Customer Requirements: What new processes have been implemented to validate customer needs? With current customers, is the company producing the products they want? Good ways to address these questions are by surveys; perhaps one every six months to stay on top of an ever-changing market. Setup customer focus groups and ask for feedback. If the company has group meetings or sponsored events, that would be a good time to get input from participants.
  • Convenient Delivery of Product: A lot of people do their online ordering late at night. Is there an IT support group on call but not on site? That could be a money saver for the company, but not for the customer.
  • Principles for Resolving Problems: If a customer places an order and the company is out of the product, how do you resolve the problem? Customers want to be treated fairly, and they don’t much care about excuses. If you resolve their conflicts and you think it is fair, but your customer doesn’t, you will lose your customer.
  • Communication is the Key: This must happen actively and often.
  • Meeting Customer Commitments: If a company has to make excuses why a commitment has not been met on time, the company has missed customer focus.
  • Performance Measurements: Employees have to be held accountable for their actions. Many companies reward exemplary customer focused behaviors with bonuses; positive reinforcement trumps negative criticism.

Many times owners and managers take it for granted that their staff works towards the same objectives. Group sessions are positive methods to help staff understand the customer-focused vision which enables companies and employees to succeed in a very challenging market.

photo credit: Torley

3 Responses to “Customer focus development”

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    Mar 28, 10 at 10:40 am

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    So You Want To Be a Banquet Manager

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    Mar 29, 10 at 5:09 pm

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    Apr 16, 10 at 1:18 pm

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