The voice of the customer

Holiday Extras Customer's Awards picturesEvery business knows in order to keep customers, the organization needs to understand what is important.  For instance, a company concentrates on core values including  hiring, firing, promotions, slogans, and of course the products and services. In the normal realm of business, as we all look for the leading edge, it is most frequently price competition or offering more features at  more attractive prices that bring us new customers and keep the old ones. We know that staying in touch for the good, bad, and the ugly also round out our commitment to our customers.

While all of the above are certainly integral components of a successful business, there are way too many businesses that are almost identical, and with that in mind, eventually a customer is going to defect and run over to the competition. Somehow we need to prove to the customer or the client they are important, but not just for us to meet their expectations, but to exceed their expectations.

So how does an organization become customer-centric? Once the better product has been surpassed by DEF Company, how does ABC Company pull out of their dust? Customer-centric isn’t just about customer service, because everyone  now insists that is part of day-to-day business operations, however most customer service departments run with generalized scripts or more so – one size fits all. Customer-centric breaks down the scripts to responding to different types of customers based on their shopping habits, geographic locations, and even spending habits. It’s in the ability to respond to customer feedback, and with planned efficiency give back to the customer the level of attention and response they deserve using the latest technology and information.

Customer-centric organizations align all of their resources. Their staff, technology, products, and services all mesh together developing a culture of excited employees; people who know what is going on both during the business day but also within the organization. Staff members are kept in constant communication; they are rewarded, their experiences are shared, and the commitment to employees is shared via their enthusiasm towards their jobs.

Is there any company more customer-centric than Zappos? Have we not enjoyed the interviews and learned from Tony Hsieh? His customer service is part of his marketing expenses, and every day spent on the telephone with customers help to create that unusual if not quirky weirdness that customers just adore. The passion of his staff, their enthusiasm to overcome each and every hurdle, and their training; all core values that have grown and continue to grow in a company that humility and passion built.

photo credit: Holidayextras