Today the Customer is King. Organizations depend on their customers for their present and their future. In order for your business to survive in our competitive environment, your organization must understand current and future customer needs; it should meet customer requirements, and strive to exceed customer expectations.
Customer focus is the most basic principle of managing the quality of products and services and one of the keys to business success. All major methods of Quality Improvement require that you maintain this customer- focused vision.
To achieve a customer focused orientation, your entire organization must place your customer first in all its decisions. Management should lead the way, but all employees should be involved. The customer is considered first for all activities from planning a new product to its production and ultimate delivery and servicing. All your employees need to be sensitized to this vision.
By maintaining customer focus, your company obtains increased revenue and market share through flexible and fast responses to market opportunities. Knowing in advance what your customer needs can give your company a decisive competitive edge.
Your company resources are used more effectively by addressing your customer needs and obtaining higher levels of customer satisfaction. Of course, continued customer satisfaction results in improved customer loyalty leading to repeat business. It has been said many times that it is far easier to sell to an existing customer than to sell to a new one. Obtaining customer loyalty should be one of your most important goals.
In order to maintain Customer Focus, you must:
- Research and understand your customer's needs and expectations.
- Ensure that your objectives are linked to these needs and expectations.
- Communicate these needs and expectations to your employees.
- Measure customer satisfaction and act on the results you find.
- Manage the details of customer relationships in a systematic manner.
While customer focus is paramount, it must be used a balanced approach between satisfied customers and other interested parties (such as owners, employees, suppliers, financiers, local communities and society as a whole). Because of the pressures of every-day business, it is not uncommon to lose this balance and your customers in the process.