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Is your business customer-centric?

Many small and medium-sized businesses are owner-focused rather than customer-focused. This is understandable, as the owner starts the business with a vision of what they want to create. However, to achieve sustainability, businesses need to shift their focus from internal to external customers.

Here are five tips for building a customer-centric business:

  1. Use the customer’s language. Don’t talk about your offerings in internal terms. Use the language of your customers to describe your products and services.
  2. Define your business around customer problems, not products. This will open up more commercial opportunities than simply selling products.
  3. Adapt your business to customer needs. Don’t push your capabilities on customers. Instead, focus on what they need and want.
  4. Be willing to go the extra mile for your customers. Don’t insist on charging for every little thing. Instead, be willing to make exceptions and go above and beyond to help your customers.
  5. Form partnerships to meet specific customer needs. If you can’t meet all of your customers’ needs with your existing offerings, partner with other businesses to do so.

Customer centricity starts at the top

Entrepreneurial companies often focus on products instead of customer problems, driven by an obsession to make sales. The most successful startups and growth companies deliberately focus outwards, not inward. To achieve this strategic switch requires strong leadership. Simply put, the company can only obsess over customers if the owner, founder, or CEO obsesses over them.

The essence of customer-centricity is to focus on helping customers solve their problems. If you can do this, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful business.

Additional tips for becoming more customer-centric

Customer centricity is essential for business success. By focusing on your customers’ needs and wants, you can build a loyal customer base that will help you grow your business.

Here are some additional tips for becoming more customer-centric:

  • Collect customer feedback regularly and use it to improve your products and services.
  • Make it easy for customers to contact you and get support.
  • Be responsive to customer complaints and concerns.
  • Offer personalized experiences to your customers.
  • Reward loyal customers.

When a business becomes customer-centric, instead of owner-focused, it stands a chance to outlive the owner and become an asset that can be traded independently of its founder.