Placing Customers First
Our customers have found significant value in understanding what we mean when we help them place their customers first in their companies. Because even though it might sound obvious, or even trite, to “place your customers first”, for many companies, this represents a new horizon, and for some companies, it may become one of the largest changes they can undertake.
What does it mean to place customers first?
First, one must understand that organizations grow organically, and often are formed around concepts that are critically important to the company in the beginning. Some companies are very product development focused if they started with a product or software. Many companies are so focused on sales in the beginning, that much of their culture, operations, and processes revolve around selling. Some companies may start in these or other ways but become so large, or costly that their organizations become tightly focused on “cost-savings” or managing the bottom line.
Ideally, a company that knows their customers’ priorities will understand which decisions affect customers, and to what degree, and will likely make better customer-focused decisions. In each of these cases above for example, without a deeper level of understanding and experience with customer pain points, priorities, and perspectives, there could be many decisions that turn out to be very much not customer-focused.
For example, a product technology company might focus their efforts, resources, and money on building the coolest, latest features into their product, regardless if they add commensurate value to their customers. A sales-focused company might be more concerned about selling their product in the short term than whether it makes their customers better off in the long run. And a cost-conscious company might make decisions that reduce customer service headcount and make customers wait longer for support.
From a corporate point of view, a customer-focused effort may mean simply making the decision to become a more customer-focused organization. In turn, and with strong executive support, this could be enough to transform a company and potentially gain all the benefits that come from a ‘customers first’ culture.
From a customer point of view, placing customers first is most notable in the experience a customer has with your company throughout their interactions over time. This Customer Experience (CX) is where the most visible aspects of the corporate effort will be felt by the customer. And therefore it is why most companies are starting to investigate how to improve their CX. And by the way, as more companies realize that to truly affect and improve their delivered customer experience they must understand their customers’ journeys from the customer point of view, not an internal point of view.
Why place customers first?
Some of the most obvious and impactful benefits of becoming a ‘customers first’ company are happier customers and as a result likely higher customer retention and lower costs of customer acquisition.
Over the last twenty years, the internet has made the economy a much more competitive landscape. It has enabled small companies to be nimble and compete with very large companies. And as all companies begin to be more price competitive, one of the more important, long-lasting, and brand enhancing differentiators any company can have is their perceived Customer Experience.
This is the reason why CustomersFirst Now has been focused on CX program implementation for 15 years, and why our mission and our actual company name is so tightly focused around this concept of placing your Customers First as a top corporate priority.
Contact us if you’d like to discuss your company’s efforts to become a ‘customers first’ company.