Customer first approach

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What is the customer first strategy?

When we look at the word “customer first”, we instantly think about an organization where everyone focuses on serving the customer in a better way and keeping customer experience at the center of everything. Although it sounds cool and considerate in theory, when it comes to actually implementing the customer first approach, you’ll realize it is much more than that. 

Customer first strategy is adopted by the customer-centric organizations to make their business decisions with not products as their center but the customers. Meaning, these organizations will develop their products and services with respect to customer interests, aiming to satisfy their needs and wants. 

Generally, with customer-centric organizations, customer first is basically their business purpose. These organizations build their business products and services with a purpose to serve the customer with their demands. Hence, the customer first approach is nothing but a business purpose for them that they work for every minute. The way customers use their products, give their reviews and their relationships with the organization is what drives the customer first approach in an organization. 

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Customer first approach for business success

Customer first organizations have one goal and that is to deliver the best customer experience, be it with the products/services or customer service and support. So, it is safe to say that the biggest benefit customer first approach will have on your business is it will make your customers build loyal relationships with your brand. Apart from loyalty, customer first strategy also turns these loyal customers to your business promoters. Customers will feel free to refer your brand to their friends and family which is called “word-of-mouth” promotion. 

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Example of customer first approach is a Japanese retailer Uniqlo, who have reported their increased revenue profit in 2021. Uniqlo’s CEO Tadashi Yanai gives half the credit to customer first mindset saying, “Meet customer needs, and create new customers.” 

Apart from this, the customer first approach changes the way customers look at your brand. Good customer experience helps an organization gain loyal customers who decide to stay with the brand regardless of the factors in products that might need them to go out of their way. Furthermore, customers also help the organization in return by referring the products and services to their circle. This gives an organization an upper hand in the market when it has a strong loyal customer base.

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Tips to become a successful customer first organization

  • Customer perspective 

The best way to ace the customer first approach is to understand what they think of you as a brand. Example, a famous sports brand Nike identifies itself as a brand that motivates the athletes to do better with their sports accessories. Hence, they can focus more on the customer perspective of them and help them understand the product purpose. 

  • Know your customers 

Knowing your customer is not limited to knowing what they buy. It goes beyond that and focuses also on what their buying behavior is, their purchase history, their issues, goals and emotions too. To be able to develop valuable products and services that serve the customer needs in the right way needs co-creating. Both the brand and customer have to play an equal role in developing the best product. 

  • Proactive customer experiences 

Customer experience is adversely affected by the quality of customer service you provide to your customers. Delivering a proactive customer experience to your customers will help you gain a competitive advantage in the market as customers tend to stick to a brand for a longer period. Whereas, customers tend to leave the company just after one bad experience. 

  • Customer first as organization goal

It is easy to say that you are a customer first organization, but it is easier said than done. For your organization to be customer centric, you need to regulate the customer first approach in all the functional teams across the organization. The employees who directly interact with the customers, and even the ones who don’t, need to adhere to the customer first approach. Organizations make customer first approach as their business goal. 

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