There is an unlimited supply of self-helpy-type, truisms on the internet that we could assert to illustrate the importance of making customer experience the centerpiece of your business model and attribute them to one modern-day business guru or another. However, cheap truisms are of no value and that’s exactly what we’re talking about when we talk about any sort of business. Value is an abstract human construct that is governed by radically democratic but ordinary market forces. To put it simply, solving people’s problems is the most general and basic approach to creating value there is.
Therefore if a business wants to be compensated for the value it creates, the best place to start is by asking what problems exist in the market, and how can they be solved. Chances are good, if you’re a startup, that you’ve already done that. But, what we want to talk about right now is the fact that customer experience, and the ideal of solving problems should remain central to your business process management, not only as you focus outward on creating value by solving problems in the marketplace at large—the “why” questions—but also as you focus inward on the process of building your organization to do exactly what you set out to do—the “how” questions.
Here are four reasons why your company should remain focused on customers throughout the life of the organization.
- To establish credibility and trust — If you’re a startup, even if you’ve recruited some industry rockstars to your cause, you’re unknown to the general public. That means you’re unknown and you need to build credibility to attract customers. The easiest way to build trust with potential customers is to begin with a stellar customer experience. Good customer experiences begin by reaching your audience in places where already are. For example, social media, and content marketing campaigns that reach users on sites they frequent, but direct that back to a company blog on your website can quickly establish credibility and generate a great deal of word-of-mouth promotion.
- Make up for what you lack — Nobody is questioning your vision, or your sincerity. But the statistical reality for most businesses is that the products or services they’re working to launch fail to fully address the problems they’re attempting to solve. Or, businesses realize that they’re actually staffed and equipped to address an entirely different problem than the one they set out to solve. The point here is that there’s likely to be a lag period between the initial launch of your business, and full realization of your business goals. If your focus remains on customer service during that lag period then you stand of better chance of not losing the market share you’ve fought for.
- Promote customer loyalty — Today’s customers like to have real-time, personalized customer support. And they want to be able to contact businesses they rely on any time, day or night. Setting up customer service systems like call centers gives customers what they want. Meeting customer demands is just another way to promote even more word-of-mouth endorsements from your customer base.
- Create a feedback loop of customer advice — All of the previous tips set the stage for creating a feedback loop of customer experience that should serve to direct your startup’s operations if and when the time comes to pivot. Because market value is governed by the radical democracy of the market, your customers are the best resource for gauging the path toward improving your business overall.
The fact is that all business begins with the needs of one type of customer in mind, either directly or indirectly. To keep your business healthy and growing, focus should remain on servicing those needs.