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Money Matters: Why companies should strive to be customer-obsessed, competitor-aware

By Peter Ord - Special to the Daily Herald | Jan 21, 2023


Throughout 2023, companies will need to be even more customer-centric than ever before. In the face of inflation, your business will become more critically observed as customers reevaluate their budgets and leave behind any products and services that don’t provide immediate value. Similarly, competitive markets give organizations with top-tier customer service an edge over those who leave their clients wanting more. 

As organizations face the battle to remain relevant in the face of greater competition and expectations, they will need to train their focus on the customer above all else while keeping an eye on the competition. This concept is what I like to refer to as being “customer-obsessed, competitor-aware.” When your biggest focus is your customers, your competitors will begin to follow you rather than the other way around.

So, how can companies ensure they adopt the right mindset to differentiate themselves from their competition and provide the best customer service possible? It all comes down to the three Cs of customer satisfaction: consistency, consistency, consistency. Let’s explore three ways to become the leader in your niche, retain your clients and optimize your success with customer-obsessed ideals. 

Audit all customer touchpoints to create consistency

From development to delivery, every process involved in your customer’s exposure to your company should be reviewed and streamlined to offer a great experience. Sales, service, support, invoicing and follow-up workflows all need to be audited to ensure they are providing what your customers expect. The more consistent you are with customer interactions, the better. As you develop customer service processes, you’ll be better able to measure their success if they’ve been repeated. Then, you can optimize your results.

Take McDonald’s for example. No matter where you are, you know exactly what to expect when you order their signature item, the Big Mac: a beef patty, lettuce, cheese, onion, pickles and their famous sauce. As a customer, you choose to eat at McDonald’s because you know exactly what you’re going to get, while another option is unpredictable and could leave you disappointed. 

Like McDonald’s, it’s essential to develop a consistent experience at every step of your process. Loyalty is exactly what you’re striving for when you adopt a customer-obsessed mindset, so stay true to your own signature superpower and create an experience for your customer they’ll come to crave and expect. 

Involve executives in the customer experience

Sixty-four percent of companies with a customer-focused CEO are more profitable than their competition; however, only 56% of CEOs are involved in customer experience activities. The way your executives interact with your customers will spread throughout your organization, so make sure it aligns with desired experiences. Your employees look to leadership for an example: Set a great precedent to ensure they will treat your customers with the respect and care needed to thrive. 

Creating a customer-obsessed culture requires each employee to improve their own service. While that starts with the front-line employees who answer calls and interact with clients most regularly, it doesn’t stop there. An excellent customer experience is about building an entire business your customers love — not a single person or department. 

Obsess about your employee experience

A customer’s experience can only be as good as your employee experience. As we’ve discussed, every employee is essential to providing an excellent experience for your customers. When you invest in your employees’ everyday lives, it will bleed into their support for your customers. In fact, employees believe a positive company culture has a direct impact on their performance. 

According to a Workplace Culture Survey from Eagle Hill Consulting, 76% of employees report that a great workplace culture has led them to experience improvements in their productivity and efficiency, and 73% of them feel more committed to achieving their company’s goals. When employees know you care about their success, they search for value behind their work and seek to achieve it. They understand the experience they provide your customers makes a positive impact for others, as well as your company, and seeks to provide it any way they can. 

Creating a culture of customer-obsessed, competitor-aware employees begins with you and waterfalls down. Make it your mission to believe in each of your team members, involve other executives in the process and audit all of your customer touchpoints to create the best outcomes possible for not only your customers but your staff and company as well. When compassion and care drive your processes, you can accomplish anything! 

Peter Ord is the founder of GUIDEcx, a client implementation and onboarding project platform based in Lehi.


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