5 Ways to Create a Customer-Focused Brand

When you sit down and think about how to grow your business, the first instinct is often to look at balance sheets and projections, going after the comfort that comes from cold, hard data. However, if you look to your customers and the way they’re interacting with your business, you could quickly find insights that will have greater long-term benefits.

Countless business success stories have come out of a philosophy that puts customers at the centre of the decision-making process, but many entrepreneurs let this fall by the wayside in favour of clever resource allocation and more measurable efficiencies.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at why building a customer-focused brand is important, and five of the best strategies you can use to develop your own customer-focussed brand.


Customer Focus – What it Is, and Why You Should Care

Customer focus refers to the capacity for a business to put their customer base at the centre of their decision-making process. For everything the business does, key decision makers at a customer-focused brand will ask themselves how their course of action will affect the customers, rather than the direct impact it might have on the company’s bottom line.

By developing a keen understanding of their customer base, and using this understanding as a driving force in everything they do, businesses can nurture stronger relationships, make it easier for customers to reach their goals through more enjoyable experiences, and generally increase satisfaction across the board.

The benefits of embracing a customer-focused philosophy for the end customer speak for themselves. On the business’ side, customer-focused brands can enjoy two key advantages:

  • Bringing customer engagement up to increasingly higher standards: Customers have always wanted to see they’re being listened to, and with the rapid development of online technologies and other developments allowing for a much higher degree of personalisation, consumer standards are higher than ever. A 2020 study by Salesforce showed that 88% of customers “expect companies to accelerate their digital initiatives”, and 95% say “their trust in a company makes them more likely to remain loyal to that brand”.
  • Helping your bottom line: Because of the huge importance positive experiences with brands have in the minds of the modern consumer, adopting a customer-focused mentality with your decision making will foster greater loyalty, and allow your business to rely on a core base of existing customers, rather than expending energy and resources to create new ones. Ultimately, this will foster a more secure turnover, and a healthier bottom line.

5 Ways to Create a Customer-Focused Brand

As we’ve seen, making customer focus a key part of your decision-making process can help you meet customer needs more efficiently, and build stronger marketing campaigns, sales pipelines, and customer service standards.

Though most businesses have some understanding of how a customer-centric mindset can benefit the company, it can be hard to fully understand a customers’ expectations and needs, adapt to their shopping behaviours, and deliver accordingly.

Building a customer-focussed brand isn’t something that happens overnight, but here’s 5 of the best ways to get your strategy off to the right start.

1. Actively Listen to your Customers

To start developing a customer-focused brand, you need to understand the people at the heart of it all: your customers! Understanding your customers’ most prevalent needs, the factors in their lives that drive their purchasing decisions, their shared goals, and more, are all essential to making the kind of calls that will establish your brand as one that truly cares.

So, what’s the best way to develop your understanding of your customers? Listening to them, of course!

Modern businesses have countless great channels through which they can collect customer feedback and action the changes their customers want to see from them. Surveys, especially when they’re non-intrusive and easy for the customer to fill out, can open your eyes to shortcomings you may never have considered before. Social listening will also help you find recurring patterns in your feedback and start new initiatives to patch up the areas where customers say you’re falling short.

Remember that while direct communications with your customers are usually relegated to front-line service employees, there’s no reason why it needs to stay this way. Ensuring that everyone from the CEO to junior recruits has direct contact with the feedback the company is receiving can help you tap into a range of different perspectives, and guide the company towards new customer service initiatives that really hit the nail on the head.

2. Streamline the Customer Journey

For many startups that are growing at a feverish rate, the customer journey can feel a little disjointed and vague. If you haven’t already, block off some time to create a customer journey map including a detailed overview of each touchpoint that your customers hit between awareness and purchase.

Once you’ve formalised your customer journey map, you should quickly begin to understand the common pain points your customers face, and the solutions you can apply to remedy them.

In today’s business arena, many of these pain points can be mitigated or removed completely with a thorough review of the tools you’re using. 

If you’re a fast-growing B2B business whose leads are getting stuck in frustrating bottlenecks, you may want to look into using a better appointment booking solution. If you’re getting a lot of organic traffic to your website but not many conversions, then you may need to find a CMS platform that allows for a greater degree of personalisation. If you’re a retail entrepreneur and the figures you’re getting from your branches are making people scratch their heads, you may need a card payments system with better reporting capabilities.

Modern businesses live or die based on their ability to acquire and apply technology in the best possible way. If your tools aren’t pulling their weight, then a full review of your customer-facing tech could work wonders for reducing the occurrence of non-essential touchpoints, and maximising the quality of the ones that matter.

3. Make your Brand More Accessible

Though chatbots powered by machine learning are growing more sophisticated by the day, the average customer will still jump through a lot of hoops just to speak to a human support agent. However, when they’re reaching out to a truly customer-focused brand, they won’t have to!

Try to give your customers plenty of options through which to speak to your support staff, whether that’s through your social media profiles, a traditional support phone line, or email ticketing. By expanding the channels through which your customers can contact you, you’ll make them feel heard, and be able to resolve any issues they’re facing with much greater efficiency.

Obviously, offering human-to-human customer service across multiple channels can be a strain on your time and resources, but fortunately the age of the omni-channel customer experience has brought about a range of technological solutions which can make this job a lot easier. With a good multi-channel customer service platform, your staff will be able to manage customer communications across several mediums all from one platform, helping you maximise efficiency and deliver a higher quality of customer service.

4. Integrate your Data on Customer Behaviour

Speaking of omnichannel experiences, modern customer-focused brands shouldn’t trundle along using siloed customer data. Customer insights that are scattered across sales, marketing, customer service, and any other departments, will tend to bring about inefficiencies and limit your ability to delight your customers.

For example, if your customer service team is the first point of contact for complaints about a technical issue on your website, but they’re in the dark about how customers have been interacting with the site since the issue was first reported, this could prevent them from addressing each ticket as efficiently and effectively as they should.

By integrating your data on customer behaviour, and empowering each department and team to access it, you’ll foster a company-wide understanding of how your customers interact with your brand, where it’s falling short of their expectations, and the best ways for each arm of the company to address their needs.

5. Foster a Customer-Focused Culture

Finally, taking a look at your company culture and looking for ways to make it more customer-focused will help to change the mindset of each employee and department for the better, subtly steering decisions and strategies towards prioritising the end customer’s satisfaction above all else.

Building on your accomplishments from the previous strategies in this guide, make a plan to educate the entire business, ensuring everyone has a clear understanding of who your customers are, how the business seeks to satisfy their demands, and every last detail of the customer journey.

Changing a company culture can be hard, especially if the customer experience hasn’t been a focus in the past. However, by clearly defining the knowledge your employees need to succeed in a customer-facing capacity, communicating and re-affirming regularly, and making sure department heads are on-hand to direct that education, you’ll soon find the decisions of every team and individual becoming more aligned with your customer-focused philosophy.


Final thoughts…

Building a brand with your customers at the core of your decisions is one of the best ways to foster long-term loyalty and build prestige among your target audience. We hope you find this guide useful as you seek to delight your customers, develop your brand identity, and realise your long-term goals.

Lucy Cromwell
Lucy Cromwell

Lucy Cromwell, a contributor to TIMIFY has many years of experience working in property management and has recently turned her focus towards establishing herself as an authority in the industry. Connect with Lucy on LinkedIn: @LucyCromwell7

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