For years, experts had been predicting that business would pivot towards an ever-increasing focus on customers and their needs. Now, that wave has hit a high-water mark – but still continues to rise. More and more CMOs have gone beyond mere “customer focus” to promote customer obsession within their business.
For indirect marketing organizations, this is a powerful concept that can help put your products ahead of the competition, and inspire greater efforts from your partners.
What is customer obsession, and how is it different from customer focused?
Customer obsession means constantly listening to customers, and then continuously testing, enhancing, and personalizing the customer experience.
“Customer focused” is a marketing idea. “Customer obsession” is ecosystem-wide. CMOs are beginning to move beyond customer focus being a marketing buzzword, to an ideal which permeates every aspect of their corporate culture. Many are pushing fellow C-level execs to recognize the supreme importance of customers in today’s market, and reorganize their operations to be more open, more responsive, and more obsessed with building a brand that is all about serving the needs of their customers.
In today’s global economy customers have more options than ever before. For every business, in every market, no matter how niche, there will be competition – and lots of it. If your operation isn’t doing everything possible to meet the customers’ needs while also building a brand that aligns with their ideals, someone else will.
Modern buyers know they have most of the power in the current economy, and they aren’t afraid to use it. They want to work with companies who cater to them, and will keep looking until they find one.
How to make customer obsession a part of your ecosystem.
1. Enable greatness
Customer obsession can’t happen across an organization unless the tools are in place that allow for it. Are your various departments still silo’ed? Are customer insights relegated to obscure marketing databases? Are the people running your social media accounts isolated from larger creative decisions?
These are all barriers to being customer-obsessed. You want software and systems in place that encourage data-sharing and collaboration, while allowing everyone to be on the same page when it comes to meeting the needs of customers.
2. Streamline decision-making processes
A customer-obsessed operation is flexible and able to respond to shifting market trends in a minimal amount of time. How long does it take for new initiatives to be approved? How flexible are your supply lines? If a piece of news went viral tomorrow which causes people to doubt the value of your product, how well would you be able to respond?
Customer-obsessed operations are positioned to respond to customer needs as they arise – or even predict those needs via analytics and heuristic learning systems.
3. Be the change you want when dealing with your partners
Customer obsession is a particularly important concept for indirect sales organizations, because your partners are also your customers. Make it clear to your partners that they are among your top priorities. Do what you can to make your processes and workflow as easy to deal with as possible. Enable cross-communication within the ecosystem. Present an awesome value proposition. Be responsive to your partners’ needs – and encourage them to be just as responsive to the needs of the end buyers.
It's time to adapt.
The previous two decades of business have seen almost nonstop upheaval, and it can be exhausting, but that’s no excuse. Right now, businesses of all sizes will either succeed or fail based on their ability to get the public on their side, while carving out a genuinely devoted and loyal niche of customers who believe in their brand.
That can’t be faked. It must be genuine.
LogicBay can put you on the road to customer obsession with software and integration solutions designed to streamline every aspect of your ecosystem’s operations.Contact us to make it happen