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For growth of your firm, focus on the customer

Tuesday December 4 2012

By LUCY KIRUTHU

What drives revenue growth in a business? It is no doubt growth in customer numbers and spending.

Jump in numbers may be as a direct result of the great sales and marketing strategies we too often witness. Direct sales teams, adverts, promotions, and the like drive growth to some extent.

However, in the long run, customer retention is only guaranteed if they are happy with the products and services and are loyal to the brand and/or to the organisation.

In fact, a great marketing campaign can be made ineffective by poor product quality and mediocre customer service.

Growth in spending too can be propelled by superb marketing efforts, customer satisfaction. Loyalty nevertheless, is pivotal. From a customer service perspective, business growth is only sustainable if our organisations do not tire of focusing on the needs of our customers and employees.

Pay excessive attention

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Customer focus requires putting them at the centre of our business decisions. It takes the willing participation of all, and especially those in the leadership team.

Without business leaders committing to focus on the customer and its people, an organisation is bound to lose focus or be too internally focused.

Many internally focused firms pay excessive attention to the bottom line; they forget that for it to be healthy, the top line as well must be strong.

The bottom line is a reflection of customers’ spending. Organisations that have misplaced focus end up spending productive hours fighting unnecessary battles with their customers and staff.

Every customer-focused organisation knows too well that client satisfaction does not just happen. Such organisations have managers who recognise that each employee has an important role to play in driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In addition to focusing on the needs of the external customer, they focus on the needs of the internal one. It is no surprise that these organisations do not leave anything to chance.

They focus on product quality and strengthen all the links in their customer service chain and pay special attention to the social glue that helps unite them — their culture.

They are as greatly concerned with their employees’ satisfaction and loyalty as they are with their customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

Internal service quality

Are you aware that as you enhance your internal service quality, you could boost your revenues and even profitability?

Employee satisfaction soars when they feel that the quality of service received from their managers and colleagues is at par with the level of service they are expected to provide to their customers.

You may have heard the kicking the innocent cat story. After a negative interaction with a manager, staff pass those feelings to juniors and to the external customer.

On the other hand, positive internal interactions fuel employee satisfaction and, in turn, raise employee productivity. Productive employees get the job done.

hey offer better external service to their customers which in turn enhances their customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

If we want to grow our businesses, we must choose to focus on both our external and internal customers. We won’t go wrong!

Lucy Kiruthu is a customer service strategist and can be reached on [email protected] or via twitter @kiruthulucy

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