Companies exist to provide products or services to their customers. It may be perceived as a basic fact of life, but in today’s world, profit tends to overwhelm everything else. When sales take precedence over those involved, it’s easy to overlook the needs of your customers.
In order to succeed as a business even in the digital age, startups, entrepreneurs, and business owners must return to the core of their business. It is about meeting customer needs with valuable products and providing high-quality customer service.
No amount of creativity, marketing ingenuity or advertising can be successful without demand for products and services. The person driving the demand is the prospect. In other words, without a customer focus, demand is rarely realised.
This exposes the customer to the necessary intermediary between demand and the provision of a product or service. It also has an impact on how much customers will talk about your brand.
For those who are looking at this important element of the sales process, here are five ways to refocus on your business model.
1. Place Yourself In The Customer’s Shoes
First of all, you should put yourself (and your employees) in the position of your customers. This should be done daily at every step of the sales process.
Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes allows you to:
- Empathise with customers and identify customer needs
- Identify any issues that may be preventing conversions
- Identify any pain-points, while also looking at gain-points, that customers will likely experience during the sales-funnel.
Encouraging sales employees and R&D members of the team to adapt this mindset is no easy task.
Over time, we all deal with individual processes, efficiencies, and performance.
This creates a separation between employees and customers as each party stands on the other side of the digital sales counter.
For example, there is a good reason why sales people approach you instead of staying behind a desk. You see it a lot in car showrooms and electrical appliance stores.
Walking with a prospect or customer removes the barrier of a desk and counter and allows the employee and prospective customer to walk together at a steady pace to hopefully guide the customer through the sales process.
In addition to the endless customer surveys they send to disrupt the busy lives of customers and buyers, encouraging sales teams to keep customers testing their business can provide valuable insights.
2. Optimise Information Placement
Think of your website / online presence as your brick-and-mortar store. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) involves the strategic placement of keywords and content on your website and the internet such as social media platforms.
While it is often seen as a way to gain and attract Google’s attention, good SEO benefits both the client and the business.
After all, it’s the underlying algorithms that work in search engines, and what makes them essential: They exist to fulfill the needs and expectations of users.
Likewise, the placement of such information on the webpage must be tailored to the needs and expectations of the user.
Ways to boost customer focus on a sales page:
- Easily accessible information regarding products and services
- Provide answers to customer pain-points
- Critical sales information needs to be front and centre
- Show past testimonials to gain trust
- Highlight key features and benefits
- Analyse customer data to understand them better
If you understand your customers you will understand the pain-points they are experiencing. Always let the customer know by highlighting them, let them know how your products and services will help solve their pain points.
This will be far more effective than just listing the features and benefits of the product and service, so try walking in your customers shoes, they are looking for a solution and reassurance. Give it to them!
Not only does this create organic on-page optimization that Google rewards later, but it’s also more likely to increase conversions and customer retention.
Designing a website that appeals to the designer (or company) but does not fully meet the client’s expectations is a sales barrier because it is not based on customer-centric principles.
Prospective customers who are impatient can become annoyed (or even confused) really quickly if they have to search too much to find the information they are looking for, make it simple to access information quickly and simply.
It can be beneficial to revisit page elements and page information to ensure that customer focus remains an integral part of the overall quality content process.
Easily navigating and finding relevant information can improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall sales.
Along with thinking about how best to structure your pages, it’s also important for businesses to be channel-agnostic.
This means choosing the channel to stand in front of your customers. Learn how to develop a successful integrated marketing strategy.
3. Follow Up with Customer’s
Customer service need not end as soon as the transaction is completed. Having the right follow-up process in place will help you identify and improve your brand’s weaknesses.
It is essential to ensure that your customer service is on par during the after-sales process. A good follow-up shouldn’t be intrusive but constructive.
Here are some ideas:
- Invite customers to contact you with questions via a follow up email
- Make sure to respond to customer requests in a timely manner
- Invite customers to leave feedback in a simple and easy way
- Provide additional information (if really helpful) to get the most out of the product or service you’ve provided. (For timely emails, a simple email drip sequence would be perfect)
- Social media is also a great way as a point of contact
- Use an SMS survey to receive valuable feedback
- Setup a loyalty program that’s personalised to your customers
Given its popularity, social media is a great way to build your brand. It’s also a great way to keep the conversation going without creating a lot of negative interruptions.
You can monitor social media to see what people are saying about your brand with social media monitoring tools.
Always look for ways to incorporate customer-focus into your brand. Not only does this keep your sales team productive, but it also ensures fewer gaps and missed opportunities to engage with customers and clients.
Aim to keep the conversation going in a good way without coming across as annoying to them or spamming their inbox.
4. Be Clear in Your Communication
When communicating with customers it’s very important to provide clear and easy to understand language. Keep jargon to a minimum, your goal here is to keep communication as simple as possible.
Talk to customers at a pace they can follow and in a way they understand.
- Avoid complex paragraphs and descriptions
- Keep jargon to a minimum
- Avoid using cliché’s
This includes communication that takes place with sales and customer support before and after.
Always be clear in answering questions, If you don’t know the answer, reassure the customer that you will go and find the answers they are looking for.
This type of communication is good for building trust and authority for your brand, while also boosting customer retention.
Transparency in your communication and actions helps prevent clients from having unrealistic expectations and setting deadlines that are impossible for you to meet on target.
5. Access, Modify, Adapt
Feedback is important to stay focused on your customers. This includes feedback on the service, the sales process, and the product itself.
But just getting feedback is not enough. You should use this information to evaluate how your company is performing and make changes to how it operates where necessary.
One of the problems some businesses face when trying to increase their customer focus is their willingness to change and adapt.
Criticism can be difficult, but this is the first step in making a difference in your business.
Responding positively to reviews will help you improve your customer focus. Additionally, being proactive and anticipating customer needs and problems will help you improve your existing brand and develop a customer-focused brand from the start.
We have all seen examples of this in business. Kentucky Fried Chicken saw the writing on the wall for fried chicken and renamed its entire franchise to KFC. Other brands have taken similar customer-centric steps to accommodate differences in culture and social attitudes.
The reason for all these changes was the desire to stay focused on the customer. Sales, service, and product reviews should always be part of a truly customer-centric business.
This can only happen if you know enough to fully understand your customers’ needs and expectations, step into their shoes and see it from their perspective in order to better tailor your brand to your ideal customer.
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