As the world finds itself in an unprecedented situation, its easy for us to think that the rule of building a successful business have suddenly changed. Now, is more important than ever for your business strategy to be customer centered.
This means finding various creative ways in engaging with your customers and knowing their needs as we witness the world changes before our very own eyes.
As the business goes through difficult time, companies should find ways in staying connected with customers. This works well for your most loyal customers as they will most certainly remember you once things are more balanced and back to normal.
Two leaders from the two most successful technology companies, Jeff Bezos at Amazon and Marc Benioff at Salesforce realizes this well. They have always maintained that for them customers come first before anything else for their respective companies.
In Amazon, the company’s motto which is passed to every employee from the very first day they join, states that, they never can become complacent and should always place the customers first. In his 2016 letter written to shareholders, Jeff Bezos stated the following:
There are many ways to center a business. You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.Jeff Bezos
Marc Benioff, who heads Salesforce, the company with $124 Billion Market Cap, runs his business with a similar view. It is no surprise why both of these companies are successful. Taking a quote from one of his recent book, Trailblazer, Benioff wrote the following about the importance of relentless customer focus:
Nothing a company does is more essential than how it engages with customers. In a world where online portals are replacing customer service centers and algorithms are replacing humans on the front lines, companies like ours continually need to show that the personal connections our customers craved were still — and always would be — there.
Customer focus becomes even more universal and important with our current crisis. One way of making customers feel important, is by just simply engaging with them and helping them through this difficult time. A lot of companies are coming with creative ways in making this possible. Some are posting free content and access to their resources on websites, while others are offering services for free to help customers get through the financial uncertainty.
It’s understandable that some customers might not have money to spend in the coming months but for those who do, they will have different needs than before and this is where you should be ready to address them.
This pandemic will force majority of the population to rethink about a lot of ways in how we run our business, our society and our lives, but one thing for certain is that if you keep your customers at the center of all your decisions, especially in midst of this crisis, you will be building the foundation for a successful business whenever we return to normality.