Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Customer Driven Organization

The economy is down, and challenges are up. Business owners are desperate for business success. The key to success is creating a customer-centric business.

A customer-driven business is one that has recognized that the typical organizational structure with the CEO at the top must be turned upside down to put the focus on the customer. The vision of the organization includes the customer, and the focus is no longer just on customer satisfaction. Today’s focus is on exceeding customer expectations.

Becoming a customer driven business means everyone’s collective efforts being focused on the vision of the organization and the mission at hand. Exceeding customer expectations is no small feat. Leadership must ensure that this value is consistently communicated, which helps foster a team culture that is solidly entrenched in achievement, continuous improvement, and customer focus. An organization can only survive if customers are satisfied. But the organization will thrive if customers are captivated by a memorable customer experience.

Create customer loyalty by going the extra mile for your clients. Look not to satisfy them, but to exceed their expectations. Do more than they expect and you will delight them. Word of mouth referrals are still the most powerful form of advertising. Delighted customers tell others who, when delighted, will tell others and so on and so on.

Consistency is very important toward creating customer loyalty. Many businesses are very accommodating with a new customer, but tend to get lazy as times goes on. They focus on getting new business (which costs five times as much as keeping a customer) instead of revitalizing and improving existing business. As a result, they fail to maintain their service standards with existing customers. Research also shows that 70% of the customers that take their business elsewhere do so because of poor or rude service.

Nothing is more important to an on-going business relationship than honesty and integrity. Live up to and exceed those customer expectations!


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