“Don’t find customers for your products. Find products for your customers.” – Seth Godin
In the summer of 1925, an intuitive sandpaper salesman for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company – popularly known as 3M – made a discovery that would catapult the company to the apex of success.
Dick Drew was tasked with selling sandpaper at auto shops. After making his pitch, he often noticed the workers applying two-toned paint to cars.
Mr. Drew quickly realized that the adhesive used to tape the protective sheets to the freshly painted portions was too sticky. Removing the sheets frequently scraped off the paint too, forcing the frustrated workers to recoat the peeled sections.
This astute observation led to his brainchild: masking tape, which boasted less-sticky glue and easy-tearing paper that was gentler on surfaces.
Masking tape was a mindboggling triumph for 3M, paving the way for the company’s century-long love affair with customer-centric innovation.
On that warm day in the early 1920s, Drew proved the power of being attuned to the needs of your customers – either by listening, observing, asking or analyzing.
Following are five reasons why a customer-centric mindset always trumps over a business-centric approach:
1. Customer Satisfaction Leads to Increased Revenue
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton
We hope you have a greater purpose than padding a bank account, but profitability is essential to one’s existence. You need money to continue making a positive contribution to the society.
Alas, not prioritizing your customer’s wishes will push them to favor another brand that does.
Surprisingly, a lot of marketers forget that the success of their business is reliant upon consumer satisfaction. Instead of EARNING allegiance by being compassionate, instinctual and resourceful, brands shove their services down our throats and later wonder why we aren’t being receptive.
Customers have too many choices today; don’t expect them to kowtow to your services. Assist clients graciously, generously and gregariously.
Your selflessness will not only invoke tremendous goodwill, but will also pay off financially in the long term.
The ultimate biz profit generator? #ClientsYOUKeepHappy!
2. Sharing the Creation of Content Reduces Burden
“Make the customer the hero of your story.” – Ann Handley
Some of the most popular content on social media is not created not by brands, but by fans!
User-generated content (or UGC) is an easy, effective, exciting and enjoyable marketing tactic. Invite happy customers to share their experiences with your brand through candid, colorful and creative tactics – such as photos, essays and contests.
Your consumers will love being in a favorite brand’s spotlight, and you no longer need to assume sole responsibility for creating appealing content.
Of course, since people always trust their loved ones over impersonal organizations, having ardent advocates promote your wares is the best kind of testimonial!
So include fans in your marketing journey. Kick off an engaging two-way dialogue. Make them feel so special they will gleefully champion your brand.
It’s hard to go wrong with UGC – use it!
Engage fans sincerely to foster #LCCC: loyal customer content creation!
3. Increases the Longevity of Your Business
“You customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Damon Richards
You might own the business, but the clientele fuels its success. Hence, being responsive to customer requirements is paramount if you wish to remain relevant and reputable.
Your consumer’s desires can vary even within a purchase cycle; being nimble enough to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly is a must.
Conduct regular surveys, monitor customer reviews and encourage people to contact you directly with any problems. Asking and attending to customer feedback will keep your business pertinent, despite changes in technology, time or tastes.
4. Your Customers Will Back You through Thick and Thin
“If you take a sincere interest in others, they’ll take a real interest in you. Build relationships. Don’t collect them” – Rebekah Radice
Remember when Buffer’s social accounts were hacked (in 2013) and spam messages were sent to their consumers?
The company’s candid evaluation about those nightmarish hours was applauded across the digital world.
If Buffer ever runs into another unforeseen obstacle, it’s guaranteed that their brand evangelists will continue to support this customer-centric organization with pride.
When you – as business owners – are empathetic, humble and truthful towards your consumers, they will return the favor during your periods of inevitable slump.
5. A Customer-Centric Culture Will Act as a Unique Service Proposition
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs
Question: Why is Apple the world’s second largest brand?
Answer: For lending a new lease on life to a boring, stodgy industry by anticipating the needs of its target audience.
Apple made technology simple, speedy and sexy in an era that was dominated by clunky laptops and slow operating systems. Everything from its tagline – “think different” – to its sleek interfaces screamed “distinctive, daring and delightful”!
This behemoth’s ability not only to just predict consumer desires, but also to spark a previously unknown desire within is remarkable. Is it any wonder that their devoted fanatics brave extreme weather and long lines to grab a “slice of this Apple”?!
Focusing on customers is a time-tested differentiation tactic guaranteed to pay off in terms of brand loyalty, monetary rewards and emotional satisfaction.
Putting people first will help you stand apart from your competition; reduce the stress of content creation; increase lucrativeness; and create an intimate connection with your audience.
When customers become the focal point of your business, you leave a legacy that will be emulated even after your offerings are no longer germane.