Customer First: what is it and how to apply this strategy?
Customer First, meaning “customer first” is a culture that is increasingly gaining strength and understanding within companies. It is a strategy that directs companies not only to create demands but to listen to what customers really need to take action thinking about them.
Which company should not have constant care and zeal for its consumer? A business without customers is nothing.
An organization without not only satisfied but loyal customers is doomed to fail – and you know it very well, right?
For those who need to be constantly innovating, impacting the market and delighting customers, adopting strategies that help in this mission is essential.
As much as you have strategic knowledge, only consumers will be able to say what really makes sense to them.
The Customer First strategy provides the direction for companies in this regard: what do they really need from your company?
Understanding what it is, how it works and, even better, how to apply it is a competitive advantage for any business.
And then, regardless of its size and especially its segment. The customer must come first.
Does this seem like a complicated mission? So stay with us and, in this article, we’ll explain everything to you.
Let’s check it out? Good reading!
What is Customer First?
Customer First is, therefore, the strategy or method that focuses not only on customer service but also on their success with the product or service.
The entire company will direct efforts and resources to deliver solutions that generate better and better results for its consumers.
It is a concept that promotes a change in behavior within the work environment.
It is crucial that, for this, there is a transformation in the company’s organizational culture so that the work really delights the customer.
We can understand this strategy as corporate thinking. All employees will prioritize their deliveries on time and with the necessary quality.
This – and only this – will ensure the customer’s full success consuming your brand. It’s something that will always respect people above all else.
The impact of technology on our society is constant, daily, and often difficult to keep pace with. This made consumers more demanding.
After all, your bargaining power increased. Those companies that still do not understand this will have a hard time understanding how to retain customers and, of course, grow in a healthy way.
A well-aligned strategy fulfills consumers’ needs and desires. It brings them into the operation, delivers something with quality and establishes a lasting and positive relationship with customers.
Customer First is a culture
That’s why, more than a strategy, Customer First can be understood as a culture. It is something that demands a change and absorption of your philosophy.
Responding to needs is much more important and smarter than simply creating demands. The customer is the most important asset of any organization.
So, obviously, it makes sense to think and take action with him in mind, right? This serves both those who sell products, and especially for companies that sell MRR – as services.
Only by having a connection with the customer can you develop features that will really help you get the best results.
Planning adapts to market needs – not the other way around. It is not (and that is clear) about being “hostage” of customers. Or follow that old cliché that the “customer is always right”.
It is not in this sense that the Customer First culture exists and needs to be applied. It is, and only that, to think about any action and develop it based on what the consumer pointed out as a present need today.
Direct efforts, resources and time to create and/or improve the product or service that guarantee success through its use.
When a company understands this, it undoubtedly has a competitive differential in relation to others.
And then, it is possible to understand how to retain customers and how, through this, positively impact CAC and LTV of the business.
4 steps to understand how to apply Customer First in your company
Putting the customer first may seem obvious to you. But putting this into practice is not always easy.
It’s not enough to simply listen to what he has to say about your needs and what keeps you from getting better results today.
It is essential to have a strategic plan in this regard. Because, once you understand what he needs, it’s time to think and act on it.
For this reason, we have separated a step by step – in 4 steps – of how the Customer First strategy can and should be applied.
Check out and understand how to go from theory to practice in your business.
1 – Listen and record what your customers have to say
First step is, of course, to listen to what your customer has to say. Okay. We know. But we need to establish some terms for this.
Having excellent service is the first of them, providing direct channels so that they can come to you and communicate.
Running satisfaction surveys, such as NPS, are excellent ways to get a sense of direction for an entire year of work, for example.
What is the definition of success, for the customer, through your solution? What can you add to your product or service today?
This mission begins even before the company sells, in the pre-sale qualification stage. The SDR need to understand what customers need.
This is even useful to know if this prospect has adherence to the business, today, or could have it with some customization of the solution.
The customer’s perception of what success is can vary over time. That’s why it’s important to know well and also review the buyer persona of your business.
This way, you will know – within the mission, vision and values of your business – if you will continue to make sense to serve this type of customer.
2 – Build a team within the Customer First culture
It goes through satisfied customers and a perfect product, a team that is really focused on the customer and on making a difference for them.
From the time of hiring this must be taken into account. It is essential to identify if the professional has the necessary characteristics.
More than that, being familiar with the DevOps culture is also important right now – and it will make your day-to-day work much easier.
A good professional is generally empathetic with his colleagues and, of course, with his clients. He is also engaged, concerned about making a difference and I like to maintain a direct and continuous relationship with clients.
A strategic vision is also crucial – especially if we talk about the product owner position.
Thus, he will know how to deal with the customer’s demand and what is interesting, in the market, for the company.
3 – Engage your team with consumer needs
The work routine requires discipline and organization. And, we are well aware, it is often pulled and requires focus so that goals and objectives are achieved.
Regardless of being on the front line in customer contact, the focus on customer success needs to be present in all functions in the company.
Therefore, it is important to provide your team with a strategic vision. Explaining why something is being done, what is being targeted, is essential.
Being didactic at this time will make your team – and each one of the members – see their role within the company.
When people see themselves as part of the process, understand their position, the workflows more naturally.
Thus, administrative management that is clear when communicating is the starting point to succeed in the Customer First strategy.
Don’t neglect this, because if it does, it will end up reflecting poorly in the delivery made to your customers.
4 – Be a positive leader
Be the CEO, be directly responsible for the area – it doesn’t matter. Leadership is important to ensure best practices within what was planned.
Keeping the team engaged and the customer close are two actions that go through the manager. Strategic vision and zeal are not just going outside the company.
The technical team needs to be taken care of closely and, of course, have the ideal conditions to carry out their activities. Confidence needs to flow in these moments.
And there is nothing better than assertive management, done closely, concerned with people to ensure the success of the mission.
To recap: Customer First best practices
From outside to inside the company. Or from the inside out. It does not matter. Whether managing your team or relating to the customer, you need to be clear about the good practices of the Customer First strategy.
So, for you to memorize, fix and not forget anymore, we have set some good practices to help you.
To be successful in your actions – and ensure the best experience for your customers – do not neglect:
Communication about deadlines
Both your team and your client need to be aware of deadlines. And also that, although there is planning, delays can occur.
Therefore, communication has to be clear and constant here. It is essential for the strategy to be well developed.
Even if it is a long deadline, inform and guarantee that it will be met. Trying to shorten the time to please the customer can be a shot in the foot.
Be clear to avoid frustration
Act in a didactic way when informing what will be delivered, when and why. It’s worth, and always will, clear everything out before getting down to business.
Again: when there is clear communication, you avoid frustration and, of course, problems later on.
Keep everything lined up. Confirm that the customer understands and that your team is engaged, and then yes: get to work.
Be a proactive figure
Proactiveness will ensure you – and your company, of course – are always ahead of the action. Both to dialogue with your team and to talk to the customer, keeping an update on what is done.
When you take this stance, it will show even more clearly that all efforts are being made so that the consumer can have the greatest success with your brand.
Within these terms (and with assertive work on a daily basis), having customers always delighted with you is a possible scenario. And something you will surely always want.
So, how can we help you?
If you have questions about the article, or want to know better about how to apply the strategy in your business, talk to a consultant whenever you want.
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you to have more and more satisfied customers with your brand.
The first talks about what is customer success and how it directly impacts the satisfaction of those who consume your company.
The second talks about the importance of an assertive after-sales service that enchants and retains the customer.
Customer First, meaning “customer first” is a culture that is increasingly gaining strength and understanding within companies. It is a strategy that directs companies not only to create demands but to listen to what customers really need to take action thinking about them. Which company should not have constant care and zeal for its consumer? A…