In our dynamic business world, where consumers are constantly revising their preferences and trying to make their own small businesses (their homes) run smoothly, business leaders need to ensure their company is honing its services to those evolving customer needs. Revisiting the Baldrige Criteria can keep us in check by reminding us how important it is to respect customer individuality. As explained in its customer focus section,
“Knowledge of customers, customer groups, market segments, former customers, and potential customers allows your organization to tailor product offerings, to support and tailor your marketing strategies, to develop more customer-focused workforce culture, to develop new business, and to ensure organizational sustainability.”
This certainly seems pretty straightforward, but the knowledge of your customers, and development for customer-focused workforce culture are carrying heavier weight than ever in today’s economy, and business leaders need to act fast to keep up. The meaning of customer respect and service is essentially becoming a leading marketing asset for businesses aspiring for success, versus just a “good idea.” Quality customer service can have a greater impact on your business than quality marketing.
Author of Leadership Matters: CEO Survival Guide, Mike Myatt, is an expert in business leadership and recently contributed in Forbes magazine about the absolute need for companies and organizations to utilize the opportunity this generation holds for prosperity in a customer-focused business plan. “People like to be helped, not sold,” he wrote. “One-size-fits-all methodologies in sales are suffering whether you realize it or not.” He goes on to explain that although customers express conservative spending in this economy, people still will and still need to purchase goods and services–so consciously that they spend 80% more time researching potential purchases before seeking consultation, than in the past. The results are less impulse buying and more educated spending; therefore the expectations consumers will have for personal service and treatment become a bigger part of the entire shopping experience.
Companies and organizations striving for quality need to embrace these priorities that are being dictated by knowledge of the customer, as excellent customer service and customer understanding are more important than ever. They must ask themselves, constantly, how can we ensure organizational stability through customer satisfaction?
For more articles on similar subjects, check out:
- Customer Significance in Product Development
- The Economics of Customer Loyalty
- Quality and Customer Loyalty Goals
Interested in taking charge of your career and gaining a competitive edge? Consider The Baldrige Edge!