Before we explore this topic we need to understand what a Customer is! And what we consider Customer Care to be. This is not a straight forward definition as you would think when you punch it into Google.
Personally, my definition of a Customer is either an individual, a team, an organisation or a company with whom I am liaising with to provide either a service, a product, advice or information, whether it is directly fee earning or not; whilst my definition of Customer Care is to ensure ‘everything’ is centred on the positive customer experience. That is, all decisions that are made, focus around the customer. These decisions, be those good ones, bad ones or tough ones, always keep the customer in mind.
Therefore, my definition of a customer centric organization is one which aims, every day, to better the Customers experience. A company that constantly strives to ensure every new & existing service, product, system & procedure and every website alteration generates a discussion about how it will impact the Customer; whilst each and every member of that organisation recognise they have a part to play in that Customer experience, whether or not they have any contact, direct or indirect.
When a customer comes to you, they expect a certain level of service, to have their questions answered quickly etc. They are paying you a fee to provide a service and you want that customer to come back to you again in the future for a repeat purchase, so it is imperative you care for them. If you get it right first time around, the likelihood they’ll be back! Fast, efficient and accurate response, well for me that’s pretty easy! When someone is paying a fee, it goes without saying that everyone involved should do everything they can to ensure that the Customer takes away only a positive experience.
But what about the tough ones? Sometimes businesses have to do things that the customer may not necessarily appreciate or receive well. A price increase? Price hikes never make anyone happy, but what if they don’t? A compromise in quality or service? The decision to raise prices, even knowing the customer will not be happy, may have to be done to maintain and improve a current offering.
Similarly, it may be hard saying no and declining the opportunity. Not for any other reason than the fact that you know, what they’re asking you for you are unable to provide, or provide well, and will ultimately have a negative impact on the customer. Never a good outcome for future repeat business. Notwithstanding; these decisions are always made with the customer in mind, even if we know they are not going to be positively received by the customer.
So personally, my work ethic is Customer Centred. Its not a buzzword, it’s a culture integrated deep in the heart of an organisations ethos. It needs 110% commitment from every single employee. Being Customer focussed will positively impact your customers, your employees and your bottom line. Just like all the top performing companies do.
Customer centricity shouldn’t be a concept that is just bantered around. It should be woven into the very fiber of the organization’s culture. Every employee must be a part of this culture that permeates throughout the organization. The best companies do this. So, if you haven’t already done so, make the decision for your organization to be customer-focused. It will positively impact your customers, your employees and your bottom line.