Operations-Focused vs. Customer-Focused: What’s the Difference?
An operations-focused business, as the name implies, emphasises operations. Its attention is on budgets, manufacturing, distribution – the processes that keep a company running – rather than on empowering employees to satisfy customers.
In contrast, customer-focused firms are organisations where employees are encouraged to go further to keep customers happy. Provided that these efforts are cost-effective, ethical, legal, and bolster the company’s reputation, employees have the okay to do what it takes to satisfy customers.
Why Is It Important to Have a Customer-Focused Firm?
Without customers, you have no business. If your customers are having a poor customer experience, they won’t continue working with you. On the other hand, when you provide an amazing customer experience, customers will keep coming back again and again.
An operations-focused business may be able to streamline certain processes and cut costs in the short term, but the future growth of any business depends on its customer base. Prioritising good customer experience strengthens the customer base and enables it to grow over time.
Best Practices for Building a Customer-Focused Business
The idea of a customer-focused business sounds simple and sensible in practice, but how do you put it this idea into action?
Here's a set of best practices to build a customer-focused firm so you can get the results you need:
- Understand who your customers are.
- Give your customers the content they want, when they want it, how they want it.
- Make building a customer-focused business a group effort.
- Use the right tools.
Understand Who Your Customer Is
The first step to building a customer-focused business is understanding who your customer is. To do that, you need to gain a 360° view of the people who use your products or services.
What’s involved in developing a 360° view of your customers? There are two basic components: gathering information during every interaction and putting all of the information you have about your customers into one place. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to learn more about your customers, and you definitely don’t want to duplicate information if you’ve already developed a profile on that individual.
Give Your Customers the Content They Want, When They Want It, How They Want It
Take a second to think about your ideal customer experience. You feel valued as a customer when a company understands what kind of information to send you, when to send it to you, and how you want to receive it. For example, a text message the day after you’ve visited your favourite ice cream parlour with a coupon for a cone isn’t very helpful; you really could have used that while you were waiting in line to pay.
Giving your customers the content they want, when they want it, and how they want it is crucial. You can do this when you understand who your customer is and know where they are in their journey.
Make Building a Customer-Focused Business a Group Effort
Building a customer-focused business shouldn’t be the responsibility of a single department or unit. It’s a team effort; everyone needs to be involved, even if they don’t interact with customers on a day-to-day basis.
This concept is especially important when it comes to content. Let’s say that the marketing department has published a white paper, but the sales department believes that there’s a section that would work well as a blog post. It shouldn’t be a hassle to excerpt the relevant chapter and repurpose that content, but the content must be available to everyone in the company and it should be easy as well as quick to edit it. When that’s not the case, people waste time and effort on duplicating content that isn’t as effective as the original.
Use the Right Tools
All of the best practices mentioned above are crucial to effective personalisation and building a customer-focused business. Yet, they’re all labour-intensive if you’re not using the right tools. That’s where Sitecore comes in.
Sitecore, a market-leading customer experience platform, enables you to understand your customers better by gathering information on customers from every point of contact you have with them. You’ll gain a 360° view of your customers so that you know what they’re looking for, where they are in their customer journey, and how they want to interact with you.
Additionally, Sitecore helps you give your customers the content they want, when they want it, how they want it. You can personalise content quickly at scale in multiple languages across numerous sites at once. This content is available through all touchpoints, including mobile, social, IoT, AR/VR, digital assistants, and kiosks.
Sitecore also makes building a customer-focused business a group effort. Sitecore allows you to collaborate between teams, making it easier than ever before for teams to develop content that engages and retains customers. There are no more silos, no more having to create new content from scratch, no more hunting for content – it’s all at your fingertips.
With Sitecore, you can reach more people than ever before without having to sacrifice personalisation or positive customer experience. You can create content that speaks to people in their own language with minimal effort.
Enlighten Designs: Helping You Implement Sitecore
Enlighten Designs is a proud Sitecore Gold partner with over two decades of experience in helping companies create customer-focused businesses. To learn more about how we can help you implement Sitecore at your firm and improve your customer experience, please contact us and download Sitecore's User Experience Guidelines white paper today.