We always try to be a Customer Focused Business, but today I had an experience that made me pause to evaluate HOW we serve our customers. Are we really serving them the way THEY want to be served? What do our policies, hours, and communication methods tell them? Are we a customer focused business – from their perspective?
Today I visited stopped at a coffee shop on the way to work, but it didn’t open until 8am. What? If I am a coffee shop, serving busy professionals, I need to cater to their hours, right? Most people, like me, what coffee early in the morning on the way to work. Yes, some come in later and have meetings or chat with friends – but MANY coffee consumers need their caffeine early…
Open For Business
Do our policies and business practices say, ‘We Are Open For Business’? Are we meeting our customers where they want to be met? And what could you – our loyal customers and readers – learn and apply to your own business? There are many, many ways to be a customer focused business, but often we get caught up in our own internal operations to the point that we don’t see things from their perspective. We need to do a periodic audit to see if we are living up to this goal.
Our hours of operation need to match the schedules of our customers. We print for other businesses, so being open during business hours is fine for us. But what if you serve single parents? What if you are a dentist working on kids? You probably need times that allow them to get services without missing school. If people are always racing to your office right before you close, you may need to stay open a bit longer.
Do people want to meet in person? Fill out a form online? Or meet in person? We try to accommodate all of these options. Email is fast and efficient, but many want to talk about their project on the phone. When we can, we always prefer to have people in for a tour to see our shop and meet our people – or, we go to them to discuss their labels. Whatever they want – however they need to be served – that is what we try to deliver.
Product Design and Delivery
What features and benefits to you offer? And do your CUSTOMERS care? Being a customer focused business means listening before you speak. Finding out where it hurts before you begin to solve the painful problem. Sometimes durability is a huge issue for labels, but sometimes it isn’t (for a temporary, or disposable label). We need to ask the right questions to provide the right product with the features that are important to YOU, not just the things we think are important.
We can’t be all things to all people. We can’t cater to every whim. Maybe the coffee shop today only serves neighborhood regulars that come in later and stay all day? Maybe I am not their target customer? If this is the case and they have determined this and chose their hours on purpose then BRAVO to them. It certainly wasn’t a fit for me, but it did give me pause to think about our own business to make sure we are asking the right questions. We have to always be mindful of what is important to our customers – we need to keep a constant pulse on what they want so we can continue to grow and prosper.
Want to work with a customer focused label company? Call us today!