How To Improve Customer Focus Using 8 Key Strategies
Updated 5 September 2022
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For business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, improving rates of customer loyalty, retention and growth is extremely important. Many companies have started to approach this goal by introducing focus strategies that optimise customers' experiences with their particular brand. Learning more about the ways to improve a company's focus can help you achieve company growth.
In this article, we outline what customer focus is and explore a list of eight steps that you can take if you are interested in learning how to improve it, including explanations about how each strategy can benefit a company and examples of how companies can implement them.
What Is Customer Focus?
The term customer focus refers to the activities companies use to prioritise customers' needs to enhance their experience with a specific brand. While companies can use a variety of strategies to improve focus, most of these strategies focus on the dual goals of establishing a customer-centred, company-wide culture and increasing customer satisfaction through relationship-building tactics. Accomplishing these goals can lead companies to foster more loyalty among their existing customers and higher rates of customer retention. By approaching focus through long-term strategies, companies can also convert more leads into sales over time, increasing their overall customer base.
Focus is a popular approach implemented by companies across different industries. With simplified, expedient and personalised shopping experiences introduced by innovative companies, customers may expect such convenience from all the brands with which they interact.
Related: Importance Of After-Sales Service (And Ways To Offer It)
How To Improve Customer Focus?
There are various strategies companies can use to improve focus and increase loyalty, retention and growth among their customer base. Some of these strategies might be more successful than others, depending on a company's specific industry, its current market position, existing strategy and the type of consumers with which it engages. Here are eight steps that you can use to help improve focus, including how each strategy can benefit a company and examples of how companies can implement them:
1. Collaborate and align departmental strategies
Customer-focused companies can align strategies across support, sales and marketing teams. This alignment can help create a more streamlined and consistent customer experience. To achieve alignment, these teams can approach customer-facing activities through collaborative efforts. While introducing collaboration across teams can be a challenging venture that requires companies to reconfigure their processes and dedicate resources towards implementation, doing so can be significantly rewarding in terms of sales.
Example: The support teams and sales teams at YCY Pipe Solutions collaborate to introduce new leads and improve closing activities. When support agents learn customers are interested in a new product, they flag those customers' profiles in the company's customer relationship management (CRM) system. The sales team then uses this information to anticipate customer needs, develop relationships and begin forming leads.
Related: Top 25 Sales Skills (With Examples and Tips)
2. Help customers feel like they belong
Companies can improve focus by helping customers feel comfortable with a specific brand. The first step in accomplishing this goal is to introduce connective data systems to a company's processes using CRM. These data systems collect customer information, including their name, account information and recent activity in a single location easily accessible company-wide. This allows teams to use relevant information to help customers feel heard and streamline processes overall through personalisation.
Example: The company, Jason's Pool Works, has introduced connective data systems using their CRM. Within their system, team members can easily access information about customers' names, specific purchasing activities and account information. This avoids having customers recount all this information when they contact the company and introduces a seamless, personal approach to various processes.
Related: What's The Difference Between Sales And Business Development?
3. Meet customers halfway
A common strategy in achieving this focus involves introducing services and products, such as free shipping, on initial purchases. This attention to customers' needs can increase purchases and increase their overall satisfaction with a company. By communicating with customers and by using call centres, companies can offer customers a product or service for free or at a very low cost without sacrificing product quality. This approach can help to increase customer satisfaction and improves customer loyalty and retention.
Example: HRCNC's B2B division recently introduced a very low-cost option for international long-distance call rates to those who purchased new plans. While the new plans were very competitive, HRCNC encouraged customers to purchase the plans by offering a $100 credit if they signed up before year-end.
4. Solicit feedback and listen to customers
A very effective way to improve focus involves soliciting feedback from customers. Companies can seek to integrate this feedback across the organisation, ensuring all customer touch points are working through a focus framework. By doing so, company teams have access to the same information to make changes and improve processes over time.
Example: The Furniture and Kitchen Sales International Group has implemented multiple forms of customer feedback, including surveys and workshops with customers, team members and outside parties such as designers, product developers and retailers. By using these channels of communication, the company has been able to identify areas of improvement for their products in terms of both quality and price.
Related: What Is Presales? Definition, Roles And Skills
5. Develop customer-centric values through company culture
Companies may create a strong focus culture across all levels of the organisation. The culture can centre on four values, including service excellence, innovation, collaboration and integrity. To encourage these values, companies first require to identify what they consider being their core values. As part of this exercise, they can include customers in this process.
Example: For Shoe Selling Lovers, their core value is delighting the customer. By including Shoe Selling Lovers' customers in all aspects of company decision-making processes and seeking their feedback about what defines great customer service and management practices at the company, Shoe Selling Lovers is able to make changes and improve on them over time.
6. Find ways to connect with customers on a personal level
By introducing new technology and channels to the company's customer-focused approach, companies can ensure that customers feel welcomed into the whole customer experience. In some cases, this can include the use of social media or a website where customers can share comments and information about their experiences with a specific brand.
Example: The company International Best Hair Beauty Salon introduced a new website and social media page for its customers to share their experiences with the company. By doing so, the company has been able to better understand customer needs and integrate them into the company's overall mission.
Related: What Is Inside Sales (Including Advantages And Disadvantages)
7. Use tools to enhance customer retention
The practice of collecting customer information in a centralised repository and using a CRM system is an important first step in improving focus. Having access to this data throughout the company can then help efficiently solve customer issues, make decisions and provide products or services that customers want.
Example: The company HRS Ethical Software Solutions Inc has deployed a CRM system that collects information on customer needs, including contact details and shipping preferences. They can use this information to determine the best means of shipping items and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Related: How To Manage Customer Relationships: A Complete Guide
8. Digitise your supply chain for more visibility
Companies may improve their focus by introducing new technology and systems to the supply chain. This can involve digitising various aspects of the supply chain and providing greater transparency, visibility and communication across departments.
Example: Arnold's Pool and Spa Works' supply chain is currently working on digitising its processes to include greater transparency into product performance, costs and potential problems related to material or employee quality. They are also using call centre software, which provides them with a better understanding of their customers' needs.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
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