Customer Experience | 8 MIN READ

How to Build a Customer-First Strategy

What is a Customer-First Strategy and how do you build one? Delve into the blog to unlock four such tips that can help you do so in no time, conveniently.

Simran Mohanty
May 28, 2021

Customer-First

Customer First

Even though you use all your resources to tame and fame a business, it is the customers who are in charge of your business, at the end of the day. Customers today dictate how you as a brand, should shape your sales funnel, initiate new marketing efforts, and revamp your customer experience. Some of the old adages in the customer success niche include ‘Customer is always Right’, ‘Customer is the King’, ad ‘Customer comes First’.

As they make or break your business, placing them on a pedestal does make sense. And that is why companies today are following a customer-first strategy vehemently. So, what does a customer-first strategy mean and how do you create one? Let us delve into the blog to know more.

What is a Customer-First Strategy?

A Customer-First strategy is an approach where a brand foresees the expectations of a customer and strives to deliver a stellar customer experience at every touchpoint. Ultimately, this helps to rev up the revenue bar and nurture the culture of loyal relationships with the customers. Such a strategy also ensures that the services go above and beyond the nominal customer expectations and exceeds them as well. The more customer-oriented you are, the better are your chances to build soothing relationships, boost the brand’s value and give a rest to the bulging churn rates too.

And statistics backs that up. According to Forrester, 72% of businesses say that improving the customer experience is their top priority. A study from New Voice Media indicates that companies lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer service. 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. But only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.

The Customer-First Strategy vs. The Customer is Always Right

Even though, both these terms are be used interchangeably at times, they do have a stark difference that is impossible to ignore. When you place a customer-first strategy in your company, you do everything that eventually benefits the customer. Here is where you put the customers in the pedestal. Each of your planning and processes strive to help the customer in some or the other way.

However, the same does not hold entirely true in the latter case. Know that a customer is not always right. No one is actually always right, at all times. When you say a customer that he or she is right, even when they are not, you actually pull in harm to your company. Unnecessarily nodding your head to the whims of any customer is not always worth your time. If it a loyal customer, there will be some way out to work things out. And if it is a newbie who might churn away after the first transaction, perhaps, it is better not to waste your time anymore.

4 Easy ways to create a Customer-First Strategy

Is creating a customer centric strategy much needed for the success of a benefit? If that is the case, how can we do that seamlessly within our budget constraints and bandwidth? Let us find out:

Promote and Deliver Transparency

 It is only practical to fall in a situation where you would find it seems difficult to deliver a service to a customer as promised. Believe it or not, but the customer-first strategy is sometimes too difficult to complete. But then you don’t even want to lose your customers too. On that note, consider giving them a clear reason as to why you were unsuccessful in delivering the service at the given time. In short, be transparent.

A customer does not want to dwell under the illusion that they will be receiving the product today when you are not even close. There is a higher chance that they will understand and stay loyal to you. A report by Forrester states that increasing customer’s lifetime value and loyalty is an organization’s top goal.

A report by Forrester states that increasing customer’s lifetime value and loyalty is an organization’s top goal
Source: app.compendium

Know your Customer Persona

How will you be able to bring out a customer-first strategy without knowing who are your customers? When you know your target audience, you will be in a better position to form essential policies and take your business a notch up. Start tracking your customer’s metrics. These can be everything from their shopping patterns, demographics, time spent, churn rates, and brand awareness as well. Research and study the information attained. Following this, map out a plan that best meets your and your customer’s needs, seamlessly.

Nothing beats Proactivity and Agility

The best customer-centric companies usually opt for proactive and agile customer service. Unlike reactive customer support, here the customer rep reaches out to the customer when they apprehend or suspect an issue to evolve. That is when imbibing an omnichannel CX plan would benefit your company in all ways. As each of the essential customer communication tools such as live chat, help desk, knowledge base, and email marketing stay under one roof, it becomes easier for both you and the customer to reach out to one another with ease and convenience.

This then boosts sales, customer happiness and frees up time for the support team as well. One of the recent Forrester reports states that understanding customer interactions across various channels is a firm’s biggest challenge. Hence, if you are able to do that, you might save yourself some serious attrition rates.

Forrester reports states that understanding customer interactions across various channels is a firm’s biggest challenge.
Source: app.compendium

Be a Sport and celebrate Success

See it from the perspective of your customer support team. They need to bring out their A game so that the customers are well-assisted at all times. That is when the management must make it a point to celebrate every small milestone of achieved success. 88% of the employees deem that giving credit for good work is a key attribute for the health of a business.

Start incentivizing top performances and celebrate success as and when the need arises. This boosts the employee’s morale and triggers them to do better. And when you take a backseat on doing that, they will feel despised and depressed and this will clearly reflect on their work to satisfy your customer. It is all a vicious circle in a way.

Tailor your Offerings as per Customer Needs

As mentioned, your business strives on the needs and demands of your customer. The more you fulfill them, you stand a chance to win their hearts and see some brand advocates in no time. Having a strong presence and the strength to fix a particular issue of your customers will definitely set you part from your competitions and showcase your customer-first traits.

Bring a customer – first mindset to every function.

You may be wondering isn’t the customer support the only team who should be looking into the needs of a customer and fulfilling it? You are sadly mistaken. Every function in your business needs to adopt to a customer-first mindset to incur some great results. For this, you will be needing the unity of the whole department to set your pace forward.

CC stands for Crisis Communication

It is a given that some amount of crisis is inevitable. It is always wiser to come up with a plan that helps you plan how to overcome the crisis. A crisis communication plan will help you address any issues that may tarnish the reputation of your brand. This will also show your customers that your primary concern is safety and satisfaction of a customer.

Survey Customers on a regular basis

A customer-first strategy will not work out well if your do not follow up with a relevant survey. Surveying customers increases the chances of getting valuable insights into your customers and tell you more on what should be done. Further, this will allow you to get more ideal on improvement as well.

Parting Thoughts

A customer-first strategy is not only a good thing to practice but also quintessential to retain and nurture your customers. They tend to do more business with brands that respect their needs and cater to their demands. When you have a united team, transparent approaches, unique ideas, and a sheer love for the customers, you do have the power to change the game altogether. Leverage on the steps that we just discussed and you are already on your way to ace the game. Start shaping your customer-first strategy like a pro with these tips.

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Originally Published May 28th, 2021, Updated June 14th, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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