What does it mean to be customer focussed?

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Tree by night

Quite simply it means it’s not about you.

This can be a difficult message to swallow. I’m sure most businesses think that they are customer focussed. Surely, that’s why the business exists? All too often I see businesses treating their customers in a way that to me is like fingers down a blackboard.

Most people have the right intentions, but the delivery of their customer experience requires a bit of tweaking.

Let me give you a couple of examples that I saw recently.

Just before Christmas I saw a brand that was launching. It ran a great little teaser campaign in the lead up to the launch. Little sneak peaks here and there. Hurry up, I want to see more was my overwhelming thought!! The teaser campaign working well as you would hope it would.

Then came the day to go live, hit publish on the online shop and there were technical hitches left, right and centre.

Oh no, you can honestly imagine how bad that feels.

You feel for them.


I was all there with all the feels but the explanations about what was going wrong was all about the brand and not it’s consumers.

“Help, our website is down. This is killing us. We’ve had sleepless nights over this!”

It really turned me off because there was no thought to the user who might have been waiting to buy the new product at launch and understanding their frustrations.

What would have been better was a note that wasn’t about the business owners but one that acknowledged the difficulties of the customers.

Maybe something like this?

We are so sorry that our website hasn’t kept up with demand. We are working on the problem and hope to have it fixed by time/date. In the meantime, please leave us your email and we’ll shoot you a note when the website is up and running as it should be.

Do you see the difference?

It’s just a different lens to view your offering.

When the company did recover and get their offerings online they had a question and answer (Q&A) to help you to shop with them which is a great idea. However, again, the implementation was a little off.

One of the questions was,

‘Do you sell product A individually?’

The answer was,

‘No, because we need to make a profit.’

Again, I was aghast. Your customers are your source of income but if you treat people like they are your gravy train it doesn’t foster a strong relationship.  I did a quick google to find the product with out part B and found it really reasonably priced. Others would do the same.

I would recommend to this business to find a way to sell product A without the part B, with distribution included in the pricing so that it is not labour intensive, and they will have created another passive income stream.

When you sell a product or a service you automatically create a way of doing things. Whether you document that process or not you want everyone who works with you to be consistent and ‘on brand’.  An easy way to decide if your offering is customer focussed is to treat yourself like your customers. Or ask someone whose opinion you trust to mystery shop you and see what feedback you receive.

Do you want Westside Communications to mystery shop your business and online offerings? Let’s get you focussed on your customers so that they become part of your business growth by mentioning how good they felt dealing with you.

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