Top Benefits of a Customer Oriented Business
Companies have a choice to be oriented towards running their operations or towards market innovation. When I am asked to evaluate a company’s organizational design, it is the first thing I look for since it often the foundation for how decisions are made throughout the company.
Although many can argue one way or the other, I sit in the camp, that truly successful organizations are customer focused and oriented towards the market. They strive to deliver the best customer experience and know what that means, hire the right talent to deliver it and train their talent on what exactly it means to their brand. Companies that are too oriented operationally claim to provide great customer service, but are often bogged down by policy, protocol, rules and conditions that limit flexibility and often only deliver an average or less than average outcome.
Here are few benefits of a customer oriented organization.
- Team Engagement & Empowerment
You will notice instantly, a company with a motivated and engaged workforce simply in how you are responded too and how they make you feel. A customer – oriented company empowers and trains it people to make decisions that benefit the customer and the company. If it doesn’t cost money, disrupt operations or harm the brand, than consider what the customer is asking. Your customers will find it easy to do business with you and will often complement a process, a service or a person on the team. Not to mention, recommend your product or service to their circle. An operationally oriented company typically requires employees to ask for permission and have so many rules, that often the employees will use a CYA (cover your ass) approach and will just try to get through the customer interaction quickly.
- Easy to Hire For
A Customer oriented organization hires people who fit the culture. These candidates will have similar personalities, share values and offer creative ideas for enhancing the customer experience. Why, because they share in the belief that the customer is important. When you know what you want out of your staff, it is very easy to hire the talent required to deliver the outcomes you want. And when you start to build a strong brand focused around the customer, you will start to attract people who want to be part of your tribe.
- Customers come back
A customer oriented company puts people first and knows the importance of building relationships especially with their employees. As Simon Sinek says “Customers will never love a company until the employee love it first”. A happy and engaged workforce deliver better customer experiences and customers often respond positively and continue to come back. As opposed to operationally oriented companies that focus solely on systems, procedures and profits and often overlook culture as a critical success strategy.
There are many benefits to orienting your company towards market innovation and the customer experience but I want to be clear that I am not advocating abandoning the operational focus of your business. Policies, procedures and profits are critical to your success. I am suggesting being neither too far right, or too far left, but to be somewhere in the middle oriented towards your customer. All those measures used in operationally oriented companies are also important and something I want you to consider, but also consider using culture as a critical strategy to move your business ahead and reap the top three benefits above.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to test if you are a market oriented company.
- Are we easy to do business with?
- Easy to contact?
- Fast to provide information and data?
- Easy to engage?
- Are we responsive? Timely?
- Do we listen? Follow up?
- Do we keep our promises?
- Do we deliver what we say?
- Does our product perform as promised?
- Is our service to the standards we promote?