By Zain Jaffer

What do customers want? This seemingly simple question is at the forefront in the minds of many executives worldwide. How an organization interacts with its customers is becoming as important as the product itself. A recent article by Forbes shows that companies that focus on enriching the customer experience make 60% more in revenue than those who do not. Not only does this approach improve profitability, but an organization that provides positive customer experiences also increases employee engagement by an average of 20%.

Following are some steps to developing a winning customer relationship strategy.

1. Establish a Customer-Centric Company Culture

Implementing one or two ideas in the customer service department is not enough to be considered a customer-centric strategy. Every department must live and breathe customer-focused practices by proactively creating the best possible customer experiences. Leadership must be actively dedicated to establishing this type of belief system. Devising a customer-centric story and purpose statement that defines core beliefs are solid first steps. Pursuing a positive customer-centric attitude and following up through the ranks will help set the foundation for a strong customer-oriented culture.

2. Quantify What Matters to Customers

Regular communication with customers is essential for fostering an exceptional customer-centric culture. A brand’s goal should be to always meet and exceed customer expectations. This can be achieved by actively collecting feedback from clients to resolve issues and improve pain points through action-based solutions.

Today’s digital world allows for easy touchpoints to quantify what matters to customers. Research methods such as opinion surveys, email questionnaires, and engaging feedback forms on websites are effective ways to tap into the minds of the customers. Consistently quantifying their issues, needs, and desires will proactively solve problems and demonstrate real caring about their satisfaction.

3. Anticipate Needs

Always thinking years in advance of the competition is a lofty goal for a customer-centric organization. By listening to feedback, businesses can anticipate what a customer wants even before they know what “it” is. This game changing business move pushes the envelope; by gathering the information about customers’ needs and focusing on their wants, organizations can develop products and services that truly delight or fulfill their hopes ahead of time.

4. Open Communication Channels

Customer relationships are built from trust and nurturing. One of the best ways to establish this is by being accessible to a client base. Since trust is quickly becoming the driving force behind customer decision-making, ensuring an organization’s representatives are easy to reach is vital. This can be accomplished by establishing support channels.

For example, the “Contact Us” page should be highly visible; providing “Live Chat” and “FB Messenger” across channels helps to streamline the customer support experience, while demonstrating an open-door policy. These communication channels will help improve first contact resolution rates and help customer service representatives to deliver stellar expert advice.

5. Go the Extra Mile

Adding value that goes well past the point of purchase makes a business stand out from the competition. One method to deliver the most added value is to provide easily accessible customer-focused resources, such as helpful tips, tutorials, price calculators, a FAQ page, and troubleshooting guides. These features should provide customers with tools that help them problem solve with ease. By proactively anticipating and addressing simple needs that enable patrons to help themselves with self-serving materials, they will feel empowered and valued.

6. Create a Reward System for Customer Satisfaction

The team should be motivated to provide top-notch customer service. Crafting an enticing employee incentive system is an effective way to boost morale and create excitement about giving customers the royal treatment. By connecting employee incentives with customer satisfaction, employees work hard to go the extra mile and feel appreciated as an important part of the solution.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash