The better way to sell online

How to build a customer focused business

In the good old days, building a business in a bubble was standard practice. An idea was turned into a product or service, and once completed would be rolled out to customers. And while that used to work, the advent of the internet and consumer-led growth means that creating a business is now more of a collaborative event than ever.

Customers can quickly compare businesses. They want to be informed, get good deals, and get involved. They want a reason to buy from you: and it’s not always the reason you’d expect. While having good pricing is a must in a competitive market, customers also want to feel heard and respected.

The future is full of customer-focused brands. Businesses which reflect their customers, genuinely solve their problems and ask them for input. So if you want to build an inclusive brand, you’ll need to include your customers every step of the way.

Listen, and ask for feedback.

Including customers doesn’t necessarily mean inviting them into the boardroom. But it does mean sharing their ideas and thoughts there.

Customer feedback can inspire new products and directions, hone existing products, and force businesses to stop and take stock of their actions. Incorporating feedback is an essential element in building a business customers trust.

Make note of any trends you identity in reviews, and test out suggestions your customers make. You may be surprised at what they can come up with!

Including customers doesn’t necessarily mean inviting them into the boardroom. But it does mean sharing their ideas and thoughts there.

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Look at the bigger picture.

While it’s important to incorporate customer feedback, you shouldn’t let your customers run the show. Think of them as a voice in a meeting: you should hear them, and accept their input, but don’t bend to everything they ask for.

Listen, respect and act, but don’t lose sight of your business vision and what attracts your core customer base. Accepting every suggestion could leave you with a mish-mashed business that alienates the very people you want to attract. Find the balance!

View things from a customer perspective.

Whenever you can, try to imagine your customer journey. What seems intuitive to you, but might confuse your customers? What might they want? How do decisions impact them?

The more conversations revolve around customers, the more your business will become consumer focused. This will build trust, recognition, and positive word-of-mouth advertising.

More and more big brands are allowing customers to make key decisions in customization and creation. For instance, Nike and Under Armour now allow customers to select custom designs for their clothing. They know that customers want to be able to build their own styles and be involved in the process which makes shoes.

After all, the future is customer led. So if you want to thrive, it’s more important than ever to let your customers have a voice.

Lena Klein

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