Build an unapologetically customer-first strategy

Today’s consumers are quick to see through brands that don’t speak to their needs, will ignore intrusive pop-ups and will expose poor customer experience.

Imagine you’re at a party. The resident creep finds you and tells you about their life, even thought you didn’t ask. A company with a brand-first approach is that creep at the party, selling their product ‘at’ customers, whether it meets their needs or not.

Research shows that customers notice when brands put their customers needs before profit.

The brands of tomorrow will be unapologetically customer-centric. This is how they are doing it.

Understand who’s got the power
Dropping a brand-first approach requires a shift in mind-set. Marketers need to understand who really has the power of information today. Customers are more connected and more in control than ever before. People have the power to make or break a brand on social media by sharing customer service across platforms at any time. Consumers are leading the conversation about brands – whether marketers like it or not.

Equip your team for the future   
A shift to a customer-first model could mean a complete organisational and technological transformation in business.  To provide a memorable customer experience, you may have to do away with silo operations, different reporting structures, narrow incentives and no clear accountability.

Develop a brand voice
Moving to a collaborative model under one strong brand voice is key. A seamless customer experience is one where every part of the journey has one brand voice across each touchpoint. A strong brand voice is authentic, solves problems and delivers on promises.

Know thy customer
Data is an important piece of a customer-centric puzzle. It allows marketers to develop insights and predict customer’s behaviour – from what they’re likely to buy next, to understanding what truly influences their decisions. Marketers need to centralise this data to create a 360-degree view of the customer to develop the company-wide accepted persona of the target market.

Brands leading in customer experience have gone one step further from data to using behavioural economics to move beyond generic assumptions to a more nuance, segmented understanding of customer motivations.

Understand the customer journey
Adopting a customer-first mindset will change the way marketers create and serve content. A customer-first content strategy is about adding value to a customer’s livevs rather than pushing product. A starting point is understanding the end-to-end journeys your customers take to making a purchase.

Marketers need to manage channels of communication holistically by serving personalised information at the right frequency. Serve to deliver a coordinated conversation rather than intrusive pop-ups they’ve already seen ten times.

Users are humans too
Adopting a customer-first strategy comes down to one important insight: behind every user is a human. Treat them as humans you have made every effort to understand. It pays to do so. Leaders in customer experience have more dominant market positions and stronger revenue growth.

Change is long over due. It is no longer a unique selling point or a matter of faster growth – it’s a matter of life and death for your brand.

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