What Does it Mean to Be “Customer-Centered”?

Bigstockphoto_business_focus_568024Glenn Ross has been asking Customer Service bloggers to chime in on the question "How Do You Define a ‘Customer-Focused’ strategy?". I’m late to the party, but I wanted to get in my two-cents worth – especially since our in our group’s mission is to "design and implement customer-centered systems to measure and enhance service quality."

To be simple and direct, I believe that customer-focused means that you’ve invested the resources to listen to your customers and discover what they want. Too many businesses follow what their gut tells them customers want. Others will listen, but only to the customers who call or complain. There’s likely a silent majority out there that have never contacted you and since they’ve never landed on your radar screen you’ve never talked to them.

If you truly want to be customer-focused then it starts with getting to know your customers. A small, statistically sound, directed survey of all your customers can be done economically, can assure you that your strategy is truly focused on your customers’ desires, and will increase your odds for success.

If you want to know how, email me and I’ll be happy to put you in touch with our customer research team!

  6 comments for “What Does it Mean to Be “Customer-Centered”?

  1. May 20, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks for joining the conversation, Tom.
    Here’s the latest:
    http://www.allbusiness.com/company-activities-management/operations-customer/10206589-1.html
    Regards,
    Glenn

  2. May 21, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Good research and useful information,specifically, I thought does it mean to be “customer-centered”? If this is to be more than an empty phrase what does a “customer-centered” library do?
    So with those things keeping in mind I would suggest for this article, “You might be customer-centered if:”
    1.You can spend more time to balance the organization working and think about customers as you do information.
    2. Your customers do not have to interrupt you, while reading information or working at a computer to get assistance inside the library. Customer interaction is primary and respectfully sought after – inside and outside the library.
    3. At conferences and internal meetings you spend more time in discusstion with customers and to full fill thier needs and resources, administration, internal procedures, or the library profession.

  3. May 21, 2008 at 6:27 am

    Thanks for the link, Glenn. And, thanks for bringing up such a great topic!
    Great thoughts Ramnika. You’re right on the target. We often forget that we are there to serve customers not the other way around!

  4. Shell Smith
    June 9, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    I totally agree. I feel so bad for all those companies out there getting so much negative publicity from customers who are upset (and they don’t even know about it). I feel equally upset about the fact that customers have to call and plead their case in order to get something done about it. I recently found a customer service IQ survey (http://www.mshare.net/aboutus-quiz.html). I got a C but that’s way better than most people do!!

  5. June 9, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks for stopping by and sending the link, Shell! Should we hope they’re grading on a curve??! 🙂

  6. shell smith
    June 30, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    I hope they are grading on a curve! The most important thing is just to learn… (:

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