Customer experience is key to the success of any company, and ensuring this positive relationship with your brand depends on your ability to truly know your customer, and ultimately deliver on your brand promise. Lauren Feehrer of LoyaltyCraft Consulting explained that understanding the customer journey, and truly walking in their shoes, is crucial — only when you know the voice of your customer can you truly improve upon your crafted strategy to better serve those who interface with your brand.
Whose responsibility is it to take ownership of a customer-first strategy? The truth is that it needs to be owned from the top. The leadership team must be on board, and understand that an organization-wide strategy and mindset shift that needs to occur. Developing this type of strategy is not just a small campaign or project; it is a philosophy that must permeate through every aspect of the company in order to be effective, putting the employees above all else. A customer-first strategy only works as a collective effort; it will not work if acted upon in silos. It is one thing to instigate a customer-first strategy, but it is another to make such efforts sustainable. How are you measuring your external strategy with your internal audience? What is happening behind the scenes with the team and the tools and the processes? How are employees responding/being impacted? Only when everyone in the organization understands the strategy and delivers on the brand promise can these programs truly be sustainable. Journey mapping is essential. Start with the customer, and work backward; every business is a people business first and foremost. What moments in the sales process have the greatest positive impact on your customer? Focus on understanding the needs and motivations of your customer, because ultimately, that's what drives everything else.
Do your research, and engage in customer design to determine your ideal customer persona. A persona is a fictional characterization of your ideal customer that allows you to get to know exactly who your target niche audience is on an individual level. However, just because a persona is “fictional” doesn’t mean that there isn’t a strategy behind crafting one; a persona should be based on collected data, market research, and previous customer interactions.
Move away from demographics alone. It is not about basic, general characteristics, but rather, getting to know your customers on a human level. Go out and talk to your target audience! Get feedback from them. We all have to be researchers of our products and services, wear that hat, and understand our customers so we can better empathize with and serve them.
For more insight on this topic and much more, listen to my recent interview with Lauren Feehrer of LoyaltyCraft Consulting on my radio show, Business Growth Cafe, here: