Many companies talk endlessly about their business in their marketing, whether it be an article, checklist, website, brochure or some other form of advertising. While it’s good to tell people about what you do, being interested in your customers is the key to long-term viability. Most experts agree that businesses that are customer focused have a competitive advantage over ones that aren’t and are likely to be more successful.

How to be more customer focused

Customer focus is about understanding the customer’s world and what your business can do to improve it.

Most people know from different articles, tips they’ve picked up at functions and even courses that when it comes to successful networking the key is to ask lots of questions about the person you’ve just met, to show interest in them and then eventually talk about what you do. ‘Be interested in others’ and you will ‘be interesting’ is the gist of it.

So it follows that any content that you produce – whether it be an article, checklist, website or brochure – needs to be pitched from the perspective of your customer. To gauge how well you’re set up to meet their wants and needs. Ask yourself:

  • How does what I offer relate to them?
  • How can what I’ve learned help them?
  • What value can I offer them based on my experience?

Now that you know what to look for, take a look at your own website. How do you measure up? Could a random person visiting your website who knows nothing about what you do, be able to work out quickly what it is you offer? Why should they hang around and see more?

Even your ‘About’ page on your website needs to be about how your experience positions you as the ideal authority to solve your target customers’ problems.

5 ways to get to know your customers

Getting to know your customers is the first step to making sure that your business is customer focused. Here are 5 ways you can do this:

  1. Create a profile of your ideal customer

This could be an actual customer that you enjoy working with or an amalgamation of a few of your customers. Be clear about who they are from the basic demographics (age, gender, marital status), to more specific information (income, what they like to watch, read, listen to and do).

  1. Become an expert on your customers’ problems and frustrations

By deep diving into the issues that your target customers have you’ll be able to switch your viewpoint away from what you’re trying to get done, to how you can help your customers solve their problems. This may seem like splitting hairs but it is an effective way to shift your focus. You can then write content and create products based on solving those problems.

What you may find is that some of the solutions you come up with may not all involve you directly solving their problems but may instead lead to partnerships and collaborations to offer a more complete solution for your customers.

  1. Practice empathy: put yourself in your customer’s shoes

This could be information on your website so that you can quickly understand what you can offer them. Make it clear on your Home Page, what it is you do or why you do it better than any other company. Don’t just assume that most of the people who land on your site know what you offer.

  1. Bring the customer into focus for staff

Help staff connect their work with customers by providing tools and the communication to show them the big picture. This is easier in small businesses than large organisations where employees can easily feel disconnected from customers.

  1. Make sure everyone is on the same page

Be aware that everyone in your business has an impact on customers, even if they’re non-customer facing. Sales and marketing make the promises to customer but the business has to deliver on those.

Creating a positive customer experience should be the number one priority for your business. But being customer focused is more than just offering good service. It means putting the customer first and foremost in every aspect of your business.