Why the customer is the centre of everything

At our last Sprout block course held I gave a short presentation titled “Why the customer is the centre of everything.” It doesn’t really matter what you do for a job, whether you are an entrepreneur, an accountant, a cleaner, or a school teacher – you are ultimately doing work to satisfy someone else.

Whether you are interacting directly or indirectly with a person or company, this other party’s choice to do business with you will define the level of your success.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll want to be thinking about all of the possible touch points your brand is going to have with your customer or potential customer, whether they be in communication with the customer, or through the customer’s experience with your product or service.

Everything you can do to influence your customer’s experience should be managed and where possible, measured.

An obvious example of a key customer touchpoint is your website.

Everything about your website should be a pleasurable experience for your customer – it should be crisp, fast to load, provide the information that they want to find quickly and with no fuss.

A good idea would be to jot down every possible touchpoint that you can think of, then how you can or might be able to manage these interactions or engagements.

Be sure to include design features:

  • How will your customer interact with your product or service?
  • Will they love the experience, or become frustrated?
  • Are there things that can be done to further enhance the experience and add to the value your customer receives?

A good example of this is the Tui beer caps, where they've added general knowledge questions on their underside. Among other things, this leads to Tui beer cap quizzes, which ultimately increases Tui’s marketing penetration and brand awareness.

A key point I always come back to is NEVER ASSUME THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTOMER WANTS!

Sure you have to make assumptions to begin with, but all of these assumptions should be tested and verified.

The “Sprint” book by Jake Knapp very clearly lays out a great process for generating a hypothesis and then quickly testing it with real potential customers.

Surveying your customers is a great way to verify that you are on the right track.

When you have happy (or extremely unhappy) customers, they are generally very keen to provide feedback to help you continually improve your business and product.

With our farm mapping business, we would always send out a survey with our finished product so that as the customer received their maps, they could give us feedback on their experience while it was fresh in their mind.
We’d then implement any improvements that we could make as a result of receiving feedback.

Some people find it difficult to set a price for their product. If you really understand your customer, you’ll have made it your business to find out what value your product brings to them. Once you know this, you’ll know how much they're willing to pay for it.

Again something that can be found out by designing a clever questionnaire and interacting with your customers and potential customers.

These are just a few examples of why the customer is the centre of everything you do.

Your job is to identify as many as you can and nail the engagements to provide the best possible experience for your customer.

What have you done recently to listen to your customers?