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Crafting a customer-centric culture

August 12, 2014
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Consumers all have their own shopping styles and preferences. No matter how you slice it, shopping and buying comes down to basic pain and pleasure stimuli and responses — we are subject to conditioning. Places and actions that we associate with pleasure we seek to experience again, and we seek to avoid experiences that cause us pain. Your customers go through this process during every contact they have with you, and it’s paramount that when they leave your establishment, they leave glowing with a desire to return.

Craft a customer-centric culture: focus on their experience from point-of-entry to point-of-sale to increase growth and retention.

There are five touchstones to establishing a customer-centric culture, and putting them into practice will give you a leg up on your competition. 

Customer Service Tip #1: Audit Your Customers’ Experience

An experience audit aids in identifying your customer type, and allows you to model your business based on their needs. When you put yourself in your customer’s shoes, you know best how to serve them — and build a profitable business in the process.

Put yourself in the mind of your customer by conducting a simple audit of the pains and pleasures involved in your business. Make two columns on a piece of paper and title one Pain and the other Pleasure and walk through the entire process your customer walks through while dealing with you. Track each individual perception of pain or pleasure — you may be surprised at the number of negatives. Do the pains and pleasures correspond with the type of business or service you provide and with the types of customers you have?

Customer Service Tip #2: Learn Your Regulars

Local, family-owned shops of all kind have become a staple because the owners and staff created relationships with their regulars. They built a culture and environment of ‘the neighborhood business,’ where their customers knew they could go for their needs, but also friendly conversation, teasing and jokes from the staff — where you’re expected, as the customer, to engage in the banter and give it right back.

Your regulars become your mouthpiece in the market: recruiting new business and customers simply by word-of-mouth praise. When you form longstanding relationships with your regulars and recognize their individual likes and dislikes, you can tailor an experience that feels distinctly personalized and negates any inherent pain that accompanies your industry — which will generate business success with increased customer growth.

Read part 2 here.

 

Tron Jordheim is the CMO of StorageMart, one of the world's largest privately held self-storage companies with locations across the U.S. and Canada. Jordheim has consulted for companies and spoken at trade events around the globe. Prior to StorageMart, Jordheim managed one of Culligan Water's top U.S. bottled water franchises. With over 40 years of experience in sales, marketing and training, he is sought after as a public speaker, sales trainer and consultant. Visit www.storage-mart.com/blog/author/tron-jordheim.