A 'customer focused' new business

Why your new business should be customer focused

When you are starting a new business, you have a lot to plan and do. You may have a new product or service which you are certain will take the market by storm, and so you focus on how to promote it.

Your focus though, should be your customer and the experience you offer them.

Here’s why a new business should be customer focused:

There are only 3 reasons why someone will buy from you:

  • Your price
  • Your product or service
  • The customer experience

Research by McKinseys found that the customer experience accounts for 70% of the buying decision. This is backed up by Salesforce statistics showing that 74% of people are likely to switch brands if the find the buying process too difficult.

Price is important in terms of being competitive, but it doesn’t impact the decision to buy significantly – the 2017 American Express Customer Service Barometer shows that 70% of people have bought a more expensive product or service from a company because it offered better customer service than a competitor with a cheaper price.

And it is critical for business success. According to Forrester’s Customer Index, companies who offer great customer experience (think Amazon, Apple, First Direct) outperform companies with average customer experience by 43% and those with poor customer experience by 77%.

So, if it is so important, you would think that most companies have got it right – but that isn’t the case. Many businesses think they offer a great customer experience – research by Bain & Co found that 80% of business owners felt they offered a great customer experience. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to think that your customer experience is great – your customers have to feel the same. Bain & Co asked the customers of the businesses they surveyed if they felt the same and only 8% of them agreed.

When you set up a new business, first you need to understand what customer experience includes, and then you need to make sure you start in business by being customer focused:

What does customer experience mean for a new business?

Many business owners think they just need to worry about customer service, but that is just part of the customer experience.

Our definition of ‘customer experience’ is that it is “everything the customer will see, feel and touch about your business”. So, it covers your brand, your advertising, what you sell, your communications and all business processes as well as your customer service:

Your brand isn’t just a logo and strapline, it is how the business behaves. Think of your new business as a person – what tone of voice will it have? what sense of humour would it have? Would it be helpful? Is it the sort of person that people respect but don’t really get on with, or would they see it as approachable and friendly?

Once you have thought about that, your advertising will follow – your key messages and tone of voice. It will also help you to decide what and how often you communicate with customers, what type of messages you will put out on social media.

How to be customer focused:

The good news is that when you start a new business there are only 3 things to do to get a head start in making sure it is customer focused:

  • Understand your target market
  • Map your customer journeys
  • Set up a customer feedback system

Click the links above to read on and find out more.

If 80% of business owners think they achieve a good customer experience but only 8% of their customers agree, then new businesses can steal a march – but only if they’re smart enough to get their focus right. Seek out expert support from experienced and skilled people who can help you with your customer experience strategy to get it right from the start.

Blunt advice from Yorkshire Powerhouse on customer experience strategy

Have you any questions?

Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:

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