Every department should care about customer happiness. Even if your role isn’t directly involved with customers. That’s a customer first mindset.
Knowing your target audience
To have a customer first mindset you need to first understand who your customers are. Who is your target audience? What are they trying to achieve? How can you, your company or your client make it easier or more efficient? Knowing what the other person wants is the first step to communicating with them effectively. Understanding their needs, responsibilities and frustrations is the first step to connecting with them.
When you know who you’re talking to, you can better engage with your customers and prospects. Talk about topics they’re interested in, provide them with content they’ll find useful, entertaining or relevant.
Understanding their buyer’s journey
Each purchase has a journey leading up to it. A customer realised a need, researched their options, then made a decision. What journey does your customer take before reaching your product or service? What topics do they research, which websites and social channels are they using? Knowing this means you can be where your customers are, right when they need you.
Measuring the results
So far we’ve talked a lot about how much time and energy you’re going to focus on your customer. So how will you know if it’s working? And the bigger question, how can you be sure it’s worth it?
Let’s say you adopted a customer first approach, starting from now. When would you start seeing the results?
Focusing on the customer first can mean flipping your usual metrics, measuring time on page over bounce rate or the number of positive business reviews vs brand mentions. Providing content that connects with your audience will result in leads that are more qualified and better suited to your business. Being active in the right communities will get you in your customer’s mind – so you’ll be there when they need you.
It can take time for the impact of actions to become tangible, real-world results. Some of it depends on how long it takes you to convert a lead, but more of it is based on…
Communicating appropriately based on the buyer’s journey
Imagine you worked in a coffee shop. Someone walks in and approaches the counter, eyeing up the menu. They ask you a question about one of the fruit teas. You immediately respond, trying to sell them a cappuccino. In this case, the person is going to buy from you because they’re already in the shop, but do you think they would return? Now imagine that was a similar experience online, with no in-person pressure or convenience concerns. Do you think they would still buy from someone that was completely insensitive to their needs?
That’s why you need to understand not who you’re talking to them, but when. Are they ready to make a decision, or are they still weighing up their options? Use that information to communicate appropriately for the time – always.