A customer-first strategy can help your business enhance customer experience, increase customer retention, and boost employee productivity. An effective strategy is designed to focus on the customer and develop strong customer relations. Happy customers lead to happy businesses, after all.
What is a Customer-First Strategy?
A customer-first strategy is a business plan that revolves around the success of your customers. It focuses on the customer and improving the customer experience. Such an approach looks at the situation of your target customer and identifies ways to make their experience with your company and your product better. If customers are unhappy with your service or cannot relate to your product, then there is no reason for them to do business with you. They will take their money elsewhere.
This includes addressing the following points:
- What are the expectations of your customer?
- How can you make life easier for your customers?
- What are the common issues your customers are looking to solve?
- How is your customer’s team set up?
- How can you improve your customers’ experiences by leveraging customer stories from the past?
Besides focusing on your customers, an effective customer-first strategy will also focus on employee needs. After all, your employees will be interacting with your customers or creating products and services for them. If your employees feel undervalued, they will not put 100% into satisfying your customers.
Why You Must Put Your Customers First
Any business that relies on recurring revenue must put its customers first. Improved engagement and the quality of customer interactions will drive sales down the line. We all know that happy customers spend more and are more likely to refer your business to others.
A customer-first approach that focuses on solving customers’ problems will improve the longevity of your business.
How Do You Put the Customer First?
So, what do you need to focus on to create a customer-first strategy that will be successful and draw more customers to your business?
- Customer expectations — What is your target customer expecting from your service? High quality, quick response time, multichannel support, etc.?
- Customer preferences — Do customers prefer self-service options or assisted customer support? Do they look for product information and reviews on social media? Would they prefer multichannel support and not just voice calls?
- Customer experience when interacting with your brand — How and where are customers interacting with your business? How can this interaction be improved to their satisfaction?
- Customer’s situation — How is your customer’s business set up? What essentials do they need? How can your business help?
- Employee experiences — How can you improve the experience of your employees so that they do their job well and treat customers with care?
- Common issues customers want solved — What issues are they looking to resolve with your product? How can you market your product to that end?
How to Establish an Effective Customer-First Strategy
An effective customer strategy usually consists of two initiatives: customer-focused and employee-focused. You will need to pay attention to the needs and expectations of both your customers and employees so you can put your customers first.
Here are some ways to create a customer-first strategy that boosts business growth:
1. Know Your Target Audience and Customer Base
The most important part of creating a customer-centric strategy includes understanding your target audience and your existing customer base. If you don’t know who you are selling to or have a good idea of their situation and needs, you will not be able to provide them with a useful and helpful product.
Conduct market research for new customers and target audiences to gain insight into their needs, expectations, and preferences. Collect feedback from current customers to understand what you can do to improve their experience.
2. Build a Buyer Persona for Your Product
If you haven’t yet, it is extremely crucial to create personas depending on your customer. This step should occur when you create your business plan.
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer or target audience. This persona is created by including your target customer’s demographic, career, job position, personal interests, and so on. Create a buyer persona through market research and collecting data about individuals within your target audience range.
Creating customer personas helps you get into the mindset of your audience, their needs, demands, expectations, preferences, and so on. This can further help you serve them better.
3. Study Customer Behaviors, Preferences, and Needs
To execute a customer-first strategy, your business needs to work closely with its customers. How else will you learn what they need and the best ways to help them? By paying attention to their needs, you can:
- Offer better, more wholesome products
- Become more accessible through multichannel support
- Understand when and where they are interacting with your brand to optimize marketing efforts
- Customize and personalize customer support and sales efforts
All of these steps can help you develop stronger customer relationships and encourage these customers to continue doing business with your company. This will help you retain more high-quality accounts. It’s essential to study your customers so that you can proactively respond to their needs.
Start by tracking customer metrics such as lifetime value (LTV), customer retention, satisfaction, and net promoter score. Ensure that all departments (especially sales, operations, and support) have access to this data. Your business can then start building an incredible overall customer experience.
By failing to understand the needs of your customer base, you might not be able to guide customers along the right journey. In addition, you might not be able to solve their problems quickly.
4. Focus on Improving Employee Experience
While the term “customer-first strategy” naturally implies a focus on customers, remember that customers interact the most with your employees. Specifically, your customer support and sales teams. Overburdened and stressed-out employees will not make a good impression on customers and sales leads.
Employee experience (EX) must be considered as part of your customer strategy. The value of a great employee experience is immense! As such, your employees need to be treated well and provided with the right business tools so they can do their jobs effectively.
EX means taking key steps towards improving the collective experience of your employees. You may consider popular incentives such as remote work and perks. Additionally, you can provide employees with training materials and courses to continue to better their skills and talents. Above all, you should allow for growth within the company. This helps lower employee turnover rates and ensure productive employees but also save.
Working on your business’ EX means creating a stable and healthy work environment. Happier employees have more pleasant customer interactions, which in turn drives customer success.
5. Make Your Business Easily Reachable
Part of a strong customer-first strategy is being accessible and reachable to your customers no matter where they are. No customer should have to pass through hoops or wait for days to get support. You must have enough customer service and technical support reps to satisfy customer needs. Furthermore, be active on multiple channels such as phone, email, live chat, social media, video. This ensures that you are always reachable.
If you are running an international business, it is important to have strong global communication. Consider subscribing to an international call forwarding service. Such a service will route calls to your team anywhere in the world. This gives your customers a free or inexpensive way to call your business, irrespective of physical distance.
Being reachable and providing quick responses will increase customer trust in your business and improve customer success. Here at Global Call Forwarding, we can help get you set up with a reliable and well-functioning business phone system for round-the-clock support.
6. Collect Feedback & Grow
Finally, collect feedback from customers regularly. You can use surveys to understand where your business is succeeding and what problems you can solve for customers in the future. Then, brainstorm and apply practical solutions to key issues. A strategy that puts your customers first will make your business a better place to be.
Draw in More Customers in 2021 with a Customer-Centric Strategy
How can Global Call Forwarding help? Check out this list of great customer service tips. Implement the above tips to build and execute an effective customer-first strategy that proves helpful for your customers and employees.
Speak with our experts to see what tools and services are available to help your business focus on customer experience. Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with us online today!