In any business, a customer-centric mindset is essential. Because, with all due respect to mama, the refrigerator magnet should actually say, “If the customer ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
That’s the reality.
But another reality is how easy it is to forget the customer-centered mindset when the work really starts flowing. Especially for marketers who tend to have less client-facing time than the folks in sales and support.
The irony is that it’s the many clients that create the work flow that keeps you so busy that causes you lose to focus on those very clients that live in the house that Jack built.
It’s certainly something of a quagmire.
So How Do You Maintain That One-Pointed Focus on the Customer?
Keep your eye on the prize. Not that we’re in the business of objectifying your customers, but they’re the “prize” in this case.
To help campaigns resonate with prospects and customers, it’s absolutely necessary to employ a customer-centric mindset. This, in turn, will lead to increased sales and happier, more engaged clients. Put all of this together, and it’s going to differentiate you from your competitors. And by differentiate, we mean in a good way. A shiny way. A winning way. And what are you going to win?
More customers, i.e. the “prize.” So let’s begin.
#1. Take A Strategic Approach to Technology
How personalized is your correspondence with your clients?
Get personal. And we don’t mean addressing emails with“Hey there friend o’mine” rather than “To whom it may concern.” They’re both inauthentic. Especially the former, which borders on insultingly so.
But keeping it real with a high level of personalization takes time and effort. We get it.
This is where technology steps in. You can scale using marketing automation. All sorts of marketing software can help you to automate those time-sucking tasks like prospecting emails, creating invitations to events or formulating on-boarding communications.
This will free up more time for you to focus on delivering a personalized experience to customers while mastering Level 3,461 on Candy Crush. Ah, technology.
But wait! Here’s the caveat. You must be clear about your goals to develop a strategy with technology. Because with all of that smooth automation, your internal goals could quickly become your main focus - and at the cost of the customer experience. So don’t scale a task if there’s the risk it’s going to frustrate your customer. It’s not worth it.
Which brings us to step #2.
# 2. Communicate on a Human Level
With the convenience of texting and emails, nobody ever has to talk on the phone again. But that doesn’t mean nobody WANTS to. There are plenty of people who still want to do precisely that.
As we’ve moved into deeper into the digital age, we’ve had to start making sense of when and how certain types of conversations need to happen. So with each interaction, askyourself, “Does this response warrant a personal touch, or can it be automated?”
When you get down to bare bones, business is still about human engagement. No existing technology can offer up the intuition and experience of a human. It doesn’t understand the competitive landscape. And it sure can’t forge emotional connections.
When it makes sense, take the extra time for in-person meetings and phone calls to maintain those pathways of human connection.
#3. Remember That Your Customers Change
We all do.
But if you have long-standing clients for whom you’ve done the exact same service year after year because it’s what’s worked in the past, you can’t just write them off. They might not be as satisfied as you think.
It’s like that aunt who continues to buy you an airplane-themed gift every year for your birthday because you loved airplanes when you were, like, seven. You’ve even mentioned that airplanes don’t really do it for you anymore, but she just won’t listen. And frankly, you’re feeling pretty unvalidated.
Do you really want to weight down your clients with metaphorical airplanes?
Not only have you stopped listening to their needs, but you’re operating in the dark. You’ve also missed an important opportunity to validate who they are. You’ve essentially forgotten them.
This is another reason you want to keep interacting with you customers. It’ll help you avoid turning them into categories.
Consider customer focus groups. They can help you understand what clients need and which messages are hitting home.
Taking the Customer First Approach Is Not Limited to Marketers
And it shouldn’t be. We all gotta get along.
Project managers and creatives need to work together. Sales and marketing execs need to work together. CFOs and CEOs need to work together. There’s this whole working together theme here.
But ultimately, success is achieved when EVERYONE works together to put the real people who matter first.
And that would be, ahem, the customers. You know, the prize.
So listen to them. Do the necessary work to solicit their input. Then bring that input to life.
That’s the ultimate job of the marketer.