Why customer-orientated firms are likely to fare better

Customers at the Nairobi Java House along Koinange Street in Nairobi in 2012. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The pandemic has certainly pushed some businesses to become more customer-oriented.
  • Being customer-oriented means anticipating, understanding, meeting and even exceeding their needs consistently.

Many businesses claim they are customer-oriented. Most have a core norm that relates to the value they place on their clients. Whether this claim is true or not, can only be confirmed by what their customers say and how they feel.

Having a value relating to customers does not automatically result in customer orientation. Over the last three decades, many businesses have greatly benefited from a client-centric approach.

Globally, giants such as Amazon.com, the Ritz-Carlton, Southwest Airlines and many others have not shied away from doing what must be done to win their customers’ trust and retain them for life.

Locally, businesses such as Java House and Chloride Exide have been noted as being on the right track. How customer-oriented is your business?

Customer orientation

Being customer-oriented means anticipating, understanding, meeting and even exceeding their needs consistently. It also means always being on the lookout for solutions to help customers reach their goals.

This requires that we make it easier for our clients to do business with us at all times. Over the last nine months, customer orientation has been redefined and we have not seen it all yet. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in changes in human behaviours.

Besides, new customer needs have arisen. As a result, smart businesses have made swift adjustments. Customer orientation means doing businesses differently from how we did it pre-COVID.

At the center of customer-orientation approach is committing to meet the ever-changing needs of our customer. To do this, businesses need to gain a better understanding of their customers today more than ever before.

We cannot claim to be customer-oriented if we do not understand our customers. Customer understanding requires that we gain a better understanding of our customers. We need to learn everything there is to learn about our customers. Who are our customers?

Why do they buy from us? What do they like about us? What price are they willing to pay? What are their goals? Besides, we need to find out what their pain points are.

What do they not like about us? During this Covid season, we need to learn also about their fears. What are our customers most afraid about during this season?

Customer understanding

 Are they afraid of dwindling revenues? Are they most afraid of the risk of infection? Are they afraid of the productivity of their staff working remotely? With better customer understanding, we are likely to meet the growing needs of our customers.

Have you redefined what customer orientation means to you during this Covid season? Smart businesses have been quick to redefine customer orientation during the pandemic. Many have been able to support their customers remotely.

Many others have focused on the unique needs that their customers have and developed new products and services to meet those needs.

Others have reinvented their customer distribution models and communication channels. Businesses that have been able to reorient have done so by listening more to their customers.

The pandemic has certainly pushed some businesses to become more customer-oriented. I believe that customers will stop disputing the claim that our businesses are customer-oriented if we listen more to them and take the needed action.

  Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.