We’ve all heard the catch phrase “you need to put your customer first”, but do we know what that truly means? Do we understand the concept enough for it to make a true difference in our business? I’ve learnt that putting your customer first doesn’t always mean that they are always right (to quote another catch phrase), it means taking the time to understand what makes them tick and why they do what they do. When we boil it right down, it means LEARNING!
Learn…what the true value of your product or service is to your customer.
This is a fundamental aspect of any business, you don’t sell a “thing” you sell value. A safety workwear store isn’t selling a high vis vest, they’re selling peace of mind that a worker is safe on-the-job and assurance that an employer is covering their health and safety requirements. An advertising agency doesn’t sell the service of advertising, they sell a way to increase awareness of a message, brand or campaign. A mechanic doesn’t sell a car service, they sell the value of driving a reliable vehicle and being able to get from A to B. Discover what the true value is that you’re selling your customer and being able to put your customer’s needs first will come naturally.
Learn…about their behaviour.
Is there a large portion of your customers who are parents and use social media at a certain time of day after the kids have gone to bed? Is another portion a bunch of active retirees who read the newspaper on their tablet each morning? A huge part of putting your customer first is understanding how they behave, it allows you to tailor your product or service to suit them and also to advertise to them via the right channels.
Learn…that putting your customer first also means putting your business first.
By this I mean that sometimes a change in your business to suit your customer can mean adjusting the pathway of your annual plan or your business goals. This kind of change may not be planned and it may cost your business, but know that by altering your pathway to better suit your customer and deliver them value, you are putting yourself and your business first, along with your customer.
At Villa, I work with my team to understand our clients’ businesses and the industry they operate in as best we possibly can. We aren’t just here crunching numbers and putting together tax returns (although we do that too). By understanding both the fundamental and the seemingly unimportant elements of our clients’ businesses we can better tailor our accounting and business advisory services to suit their needs. This understanding also helps us work with our clients to propel their business forward, rather than working alongside them as an outsourced financial service. Understanding our clients enough to “put them first” is the reason we love what we do!