Tips for running a successful business and putting the customer first


Tammy Sons is the CEO of TN Nursery and an expert plant advisor who has studied Horticulture. She enjoys her family, the outdoors and nature.

Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, ever said, “If you only work for the money you will never make it, but if you love what you do and always put the customer first, success will be yours.” Interestingly, most companies have a “customer is always right” policy, but rarely adhere to this customer-centric strategy.

It’s normal to get bad customer service and to feel like a company isn’t prioritizing its customers. They are the last part of their equation. But what does putting the customer first mean? More importantly, why is it critical to the success of any business and how can a business put customers first?

Put the customer first

Putting the customer first means running a business that makes customers feel special. Think of it as a business mindset that promotes a positive customer experience every step of the customer journey. Every time you make a business decision, consider how it will affect your customers. With this mindset, customers are not above or outside the company. Instead, they are the center of the puzzle.

Understand the customer journey

The idea of ​​putting the customer first means understanding what your customer’s goals and needs are. In other words, put yourself in their shoes. What do they want? How do they want to buy their products? You need to experience the customer journey – from product marketing to decision making, to purchase and use, and after sales services. Understanding the customer journey can help you identify areas that need improvement.

Putting the customer first also means knowing that customers have specific requirements at every stage of their lifecycle. You need to meet varying needs at each stage of the customer lifecycle accordingly. Taking care of your customers during the purchase phase, but not helping them when your product doesn’t solve their problem, will only make your brand suffer.

Define the company culture around the customer

A company’s culture consists of its perspectives, values, and goals. Every employee or member of the organization adds something to the culture. Leaders, however, set the standards for how people should abide by them.

To put the customer first, define the company culture around the customer. This means seeing customers as people who make the organization exist. They are the ones who keep the business running. With this perception, a company will treat its customers with utmost respect.

Know your customers

You need to know what your customers want and what their goals are. A company should strive to understand customers’ emotions and challenges. Creating personas and working hand-in-hand with customers is an effective strategy for putting customers first across the company.

Collaborating with customers makes it easier to find practical solutions for service issues. By proactively inviting them to design the customer experience, you gain greater insight into the customer journey. Finally, integrating customer feedback can help you better address their concerns.

Improve the customer experience

A company needs to come up with innovative ways to improve the customer experience. After you’ve brought a product or service to market, you need to up your game and keep innovating.

Customers will want to settle for innovative products that meet their needs and expectations. Sure, you may have one of the best products or services on the market, but when it comes to being more innovative, people will turn to alternative products. To counter the competition of your rivals, you have to be creative.

Introducing innovative products and services indicates to customers that you are well aware of their requirements and that you can anticipate their needs in advance. Your innovativeness is also a sign of your commitment to finding new ways to improve your products and services. Do this and you will keep your customers coming back.

Equip your team

Putting the customer first doesn’t mean neglecting your team. The reality is that employees are the lifeblood of any business. Equip your team with the resources needed to deliver exceptional services. Equip them with the necessary training tools and customer service content. A favorable environment allows your team to focus on customer satisfaction.

Taking good care of your employees is not just about making them happy. Customers can easily see when your team is happy. Happy employees radiate confidence and positivity, which in turn helps foster positive customer relationships. So it is vital to take care of your team as it creates a good image for your company.

Personalized experiences

Customers like to feel special, and one way to do this is by creating personalized experiences. Such experiences give customers the impression that you care. It shows that your team is willing to go the extra mile to ensure they are happy with your products or service.

Personalized experiences lead to customer satisfaction, which also contributes to higher retention rates. Another huge benefit of personalization is that it justifies the price of your product or service. Most customers are willing to pay more for an exceptional customer experience.

What your customers want

The easiest way to deliver and meet your customer’s expectations is to ask what they want. Technology has made it easier to connect with customers and most are more than willing to provide insight into what they want. Take advantage of social networks and customer interactions to ask the right questions. Knowing exactly what it takes to make a customer feel special can keep your business ahead.

Prioritizing customers benefits the bottom line

Without customers, your business would not exist. It is essential to put customers first. The more time you spend listening to your customers and delivering accordingly, the higher the retention rates, the happier your employees and the higher your sales. But remember, prioritizing your customers takes time.

Be patient as you implement these recommended strategies to take your business to the next level. Remember that the success of your business depends on how you treat your customers. Treat them right and they will return the favor through their loyalty. Business Council is the premier growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?


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