Customer is king — and pays your wages

The customer is not just a concept that somehow magically makes your company succeed. If customer orientation is just talk in your corporate culture and cannot be seen in daily operations, you’re missing out on its true meaning. The time for empty rhetoric is over. So: listen, be committed and serve the customer!

A man in a suit putting a crown on his head.

There is no such thing as being too customer-oriented. Whether or not this sounds like a cliché, the truth is that customer orientation is a basic requirement for any company to be competitive. Customer orientation actually works. It leads to customer recommendations and committed personnel.

However, it also requires the company’s management to promote a customer-oriented culture that is rewarded and where lessons are learned.

Customer orientation is an attitude conveyed by the company’s operations to its customers and stakeholders. It’s the employee’s obligation to act with the customer perspective in mind. It’s a guarantee to customers that they are getting value for their money.

Feedback should be collected continuously: information-driven operations are always based on facts, not assumptions.

Any company that wishes to be seen as a pioneer creates an atmosphere of trust and a first-class experience in all its customer interactions.

A team listening a man explaining.

Feedback from these interactions is extremely valuable. In fact, feedback should be collected continuously: information-driven operations are always based on facts, not assumptions. Feedback reveals the truth about customer expectations. It provides access to customer and sector trends, which are utilized in R&D, sales and marketing.

However, the real challenge in implementing customer orientation is recognizing that even if it is part of the strategy, it isn’t merely a project that can be completed in a week or a theme dreamt up for a single campaign.

Just like attitudes, customer orientation is found in the daily performance of every employee and its visibility depends on the amount of effort dedicated to it.

Customers are only interested in having their needs met and having a positive experience.

The management can boost a customer-oriented culture by creating the conditions for it. For instance, establishing customer service development forums between different teams, increasing customer communications, highlighting and rewarding personal successes and networking with potential customers, thus encouraging everyone to contribute to this common cause.

So, even if people swear by customer orientation, talk is not enough. Customer orientation needs to be supported by visible actions throughout the organization. Customers, however, are only interested in having their needs met and having a positive experience. For them, the critical issue is how things appear from their perspective.

A businessman listening another while having coffee.

Encounters with a company register in customers' memory and are an element of the corporate brand.

From the customer’s point of view, all encounters with a company register in their memory and are an element of the corporate brand. Every employee should evaluate their own work by asking themselves one simple question: Would you like to be your own customer? If you wouldn’t buy the company’s services if you were in the customer’s shoes making a purchase decision, something is wrong.

In order to be a vendor you would buy from, you must:

  • Create an understanding of the situation to be resolved
  • Look for people to resolve the situation, communicate the meaning and ensure the priority
  • Exert influence on the things you can.

Success in the competition for customers requires a company to focus on customer orientation and first-class service. It’s the management’s responsibility to ensure that employees understand the strategy and act in an exemplary manner.

However, in the end, it’s the attitude of individuals that really counts. Commit to putting your heart into customer service and listen to your customers. After all, it is they who pay your wages.

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