How to be a truly customer-focused business in 15 steps

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AIBF Entrepreneurs Meetup

Customer experience is central to the success (or failure) of your business.

A good customer experience dramatically increases the likelihood of your customer investing emotionally in your brand, leading to positive word of mouth referrals and organic growth…

A negative customer experience usually results in the opposite.

Pretty much every business you deal with will claim to offer their customers and clients an exceptional experience. Most will claim to go “above and beyond” to meet the needs of their clients.

But how many actually do?

The truth is that despite the bold claims – most entrepreneurs and leaders don’t ‘walk the talk’ in terms of their customer service.

And they should – because according to research from PWC 86% of buyers say they will pay more for a better customer experience.

So at last week’s Entrepreneurs Meet-up, we asked two customer experience experts from within the TRIBE about what it takes to create a truly customer-focused business.

Our speakers.

Niresh Moodley: A results-driven serial entrepreneur with a track record of building companies from scratch – and transforming them into multi-million euro businesses.

Audrey Gaffney: A trailblazer in Irish interior architecture, Audrey has built a market-leading business through smart recruitment and execution on her vision for success.

Here are their lessons…

1. Know your customer

To fully serve your customers, and your business, you need to know who they are, what they want, and how to get it to them.

This is fundamental to customer service.

2. Prioritise customer experience

Map out your customer interaction journey.

From start to finish customers should feel cared for, happy with the service, and having a good time!

3. Gather customer feedback

Customer reviews and feedback are a GOOD THING – you should actually want and crave their feedback.

A good review can serve as a testimonial for your brand, giving you vital social proof of the brilliance of your product or service.

Tailor&Wolf | AIBF
Pictured above from left: Tailor & Wolf Founder & Managing Director Audrey Gaffney with Design Director Eimear Ennis.

4. Build trust

If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t stick around, and they may even prevent others from coming to you with their problems.

Show them you care by consistently delivering your service to an excellent standard.

5. Hire and coach empathy

Empathy is the most important customer care skill.

To be a truly empathetic business you need to hire and inspire conscientious people who truly care about helping your customers.

6. Define your mission vision and purpose

The customer experience starts with you.

Create a playbook for your team so they know what standards you expect from them and from yourself – follow that plan and stick to it.

7. Set the right KPIs

Set achievable and realistic customer-centricity targets for your company and empower your managers to deliver on them whilst coaching and mentoring their teams.

If you don’t hold yourself and your teams accountable to key performance indicators then standards will inevitably slip.

Tailor&Wolf | AIBF
Pictured above is the CEO of Your Team.ie Niresh Moodley.

8. Team troubleshoot

Be proactive in seeking out problems that can be fixed.

Speak to every employee in your customer care team and ask them about the good, the bad and the ugly – focus on the latter.

9. Self Analyse

Take responsibility and go through your company blogs and social media yourself.

If there is a particularly poor customer experience pick up the phone to the customer yourself to resolve it.

10. Take action

Show your team that you will take action and fix the problem no matter how expensive.

By showing them that you are striving for excellence and not making excuses, you embolden them to believe in your business.

11. Constantly hunt and excite yourself with new technologies

New tech and methodologies can drastically improve the customer experience and they can also make your employee’s life easier…

But beware – don’t introduce tech for the sake of it or to save money over customer experience.

12. Brainstorm ways to improve your customer experience

Hold a weekly team meeting where you share ideas – bring in coffee and treats – listen to them and inform them about what is going on in the company and the industry.

13. Engage with your customers

Speak with your clients, share your ideas and ask them what they would like to see from you going forward.

Encourage them to be HONEST with you.

14. Tie your customers into your brand

Your brand should represent your customer and one way to do this is to gain brand advocates.

Customers who love your services or have had great experiences with you may be willing to advocate for you to others.

15. Review

Review your projects monthly and consider client feedback.

Take action on that feedback to improve your service offering on a continual basis.

The All-Ireland Business Foundation would like to thank Niresh and Audrey for contributing their time and knowledge to this month’s AIBF Entrepreneurs Meet-up.

We would also like to thank our brilliant All-Stars who came to the event and reached out to their fellow tribe members.