Is Your Business Customer-Centric? Make Your Customers Fall in Love with You!

Just saying “The customer’s always right” and ensuring that they’re happy with their product or service doesn’t mean a business is client-centric. While all businesses claim they’re customer-centric, some are only paying lip-service to the term to attract customers. Fortunately, the businesses that aren’t really dedicated to putting clients first are usually found out in the end because their actions don’t support their claims. In general, client-centric businesses have a specific set of qualities that make them enjoyable to work with and end up creating raving fans. Click through to read more>>  

“The customer’s always right.” That’s a phrase you hear over and over again in businesses and retailers across the nation. Many online business owners have also adopted that attitude because they care about their customers. They want their customers to be happy because they genuinely care about them.

However, just saying “The customer’s always right” and ensuring that they’re happy with their product or service doesn’t mean a business is client-centric. While all businesses claim they’re customer-centric, some are only paying lip-service to the term to attract customers. Fortunately, the businesses that aren’t really dedicated to putting clients first are usually found out in the end because their actions don’t support their claims.

In general, client-centric businesses have a specific set of qualities that make them enjoyable to work with and end up creating raving fans.

Puts customers first

While this quality may be a no-brainer, it’s important to stop and think about it for a minute. What does it really mean to put customers first? For starters, it means you listen. Sadly, that doesn’t come easily for a lot of us, myself included. It’s so much easier to just keep talking, but if we don’t give the other party (a.k.a. our customers) a say and listen to them, we’ll eventually end up talking to ourselves.

Another way to put customers first is to treat them like the people they are. So often customers are viewed as walking dollar signs, but they’re much more than that. It’s much easier to connect with a person than it is a dollar bill with legs (although, admittedly, I haven’t tried that).

Be a resource

Customer-centric businesses know that customers want to be educated without being sold to. We live in an age where people do research before they buy. If you’re a customer-centric business, then you’re there with the answers and solutions to your customer’s problems. You give people the content they actually want to read.

There is a catch, though - you can’t always promote your products or services. You answer a specific question or show your customer how to solve a problem and then leave it at that. (You can promote your products/services on your blog occasionally, but remember, ultimately, it should be a resource, not a sales page.)

Doesn’t sell 24/7

Picking up from the last point, customer-centric businesses don’t promote their products endlessly. They aren’t marketing robots. They’re people who enjoy interacting with and helping their customers.

While it’s fine (and even expected) that you’ll promote your products on your blog and in your newsletter (I mean, you DO need to make money after all), be careful not to sell in every post or newsletter.

A blurb at the end or in the middle of the post reminding people about your products/services is a great way to say “Hey, remember this awesome product? Yeah, you can still buy it."

Builds relationships

If you can hit the mark on the first three qualities, this one will naturally evolve. Building relationships isn’t something that can be rushed. They require time and commitment, so you have to be in this for the long term.

The Challenge: Evaluate Your Business

Here comes the challenging part of the post. (And no, you don’t get to skip it). Is your business actually customer-centric? And don’t just say yes immediately because you want your business to be customer-centric. It’s more complicated than that.

When you publish content, what’s your purpose behind it?

If you’re able to answer this instantly, then congratulations! You’re way ahead of the pack when it comes to creating content. However, if you answered something other than “to educate/inform my customers” or “to be a resource for my clients” then you’re not as customer-centric as you could be.

How to fix it: When you create a piece of content, ask yourself what your audience will get from it. You want your answer to be along the lines of “They’ll learn something new” or “It’ll help them solve a problem”. If you struggle with creating content that educates your audience, make a list of their pain points or problems and then offer a solution to each one. Take each pain point and its solution and turn it into a blog post. Repeat until your clients love you even more.

What do you use newsletters for?

Newsletters, whether you love them or hate them, are a critical part of your business. They’re the most intimate way you get to connect with a group of clients, so you need to bring your A-game when you write them. Speaking of writing them, what do you use your newsletters for?

The correct answer: Giving extra value to my amazing customers, because they graciously allowed me into their already overcrowded inbox. And then the occasional promotional email. (Or something like that).

If your answer doesn’t look at least a little like the one above, you’ve got some work to do.

How to fix it: Let your expertise shine. Your newsletters are the place to pull out your best tips and tricks. They’re also a great place to ask open ended questions and encourage your subscribers to interact with you. The key is to give them valuable, useful content. Some entrepreneurs like getting a little personal in their newsletters or giving sneak peaks to their list. The options really are endless, so have fun while you connect with your subscribers.

Do you listen to what your clients are saying?

And I’m not just talking about when they email or call you (though obviously it’s a good idea to listen then, and take notes). I’m talking about eavesdropping (well, kind of) on social media. What do your clients complain about? What do they need solved?

If you’re not listening to your customers, you’re missing out on golden opportunities to expand your business and help your customers.  

How to fix it: Make a list of the different topics that keep coming up. You’ll likely find that some subjects are talked about more frequently than others. Use that knowledge to help you create new services or products.

Make the switch

I’m willing to bet that your business isn’t non-client-centric all the time, because, let’s face it, a business that’s 0% client-centric won’t be around this time next year. However, it’s important to evaluate your business every once in awhile and make sure that your focus hasn’t shifted too much away from your clients.

One of the best ways to ensure that your business remains client-centric is to create a content marketing strategy that focuses on making your business a resource for your customers by answering their questions and educating them through a blog or vlog. Putting out free content is one of the ultimate ways to say “Hey clients, I want to help you succeed.” And who doesn’t want to say that?

Ardelia Lee is a content consultant who helps creatives develop a personalized, comprehensive content strategy and implement it through purposeful content. To learn more about how you can use content marketing in your business or blog, sign up for her new email course, Content Marketing for Creatives

Ardelia Lee is a content consultant who helps creatives develop a personalized, comprehensive content strategy and implement it through purposeful content. To learn more about how you can use content marketing in your business or blog, sign up for her new email course, Content Marketing for Creatives

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Samantha Parker

Hype Social Strategies, St. George, Utah