Love him or hate him, but Steve Jobs understood the importance of the customer touchstone. But why is it so important?
The simple and quick answer is almost a statement of the blooming obvious; In a world where profit is a key measure, a business without customers is not a business at all and will quickly cease to exist!
For far too long some of our largest businesses have been focused on one particular metric and it’s missguided. That metric was all about increasing shareholder value which has created a rotten culture where the customer becomes only a mere bit player. Yes, you can focus on the short term quarterly statement and increase your share price but at what medium and long term cost?
My aim is to help those of you who run smaller to medium sized business and work with you to increase your overall profitability. So why discuss much larger corporations and enterprises?
You may want to create a much larger enterprise than you are right now and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just be aware that growth will have consequences.
Get it wrong and there’s a real danger you could end up like the large corporation were customers are not as important as they once were. This has real repurcussions and not only for customer but staff, partners, suppliers, stakeholders and shareholders.
Get it right and you could build the business of your dreams. A vibrant, careing profitable business which everyone loves.
Focusing on customer experience
I’m thankful to Matt Watkinson who has some great insights behind great customer experiences.
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Become an Observer of Your Own Business
I don’t know whether you have had any poor customer experience or not? If you’re anything like yours truly, you will be aware of it. You might have a laugh about it or you may have ideas about how to improve it.
The key point is this, when you buy something, you become an observer. You are outside the system and can see many of it’s faults.
When you are inside the system, it’s much harder to be the observer and yet this is what’s neccessary if you are to see things from a customers perspective.
Have you ever bought a service or product from your own business?
We sit in board meetings, we create strategies, we come up with new product ideas and expect someone, somewhere to turn those thoughts and ideas into something which works and that the customer will love.
When people buy something, a number of thoughts go through their mind and they will experience certain emotions.
You the business owner or director will want to ensure as good an experience as possible when a potential or existing customer engages with you. Because they are more likely to buy from you or better still buy from you for a lifetime.