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Being customer-centric is important for your own success, not just a business’

Being customer-centric is important for your own success, not just a business’

In marketing we constantly talk about being customer-centric and the importance of doing business with your customer in a way that provides a positive customer experience. But being completely customer-centred not only helps your customers, it can help you as a marketer to gain trust from your stakeholders.

Both with your internal stakeholders and customers, make sure everyone is clear on what they’re getting from you and your team and, even when it comes to the crunch, make sure you deliver on these expectations to build trust.

Having established your key relationships that will help you unlock momentum and start to create buy-in within your organisation, it’s time to start delivering on your promises. This goes for both your internal stakeholders and your external customers equally.

There are two concepts to keep in mind during this step as you look to constantly delight your key audiences.

The first is being completely customer-centred in how you set and deliver against expectations. If you can’t keep your promise to the people that you’re hoping will buy or use your product or service, then your internal relationships will quickly disappear. 

Your champions and enablers are not going to continue to support a strategy or program that is letting customers down.

Mitchell Mackey, Marketing Director at Ansell is unequivocal on this point and he advocates for all marketers to consider setting expectations that “start with the customer. You have to become truly ‘customer-obsessed’ and start with a mindset that your decisions, your thinking, has to be driven outside-in, not, as often happens, inside-out,” says Mackey. 

For brands that can ask themselves that question and structure their marketing activities with the customer’s needs front of mind, there is a far greater chance of continued buy-in and support from senior stakeholders and the broader business.

The second concept of this step that can help marketers bulletproof their marketing content operations is to ensure they line up the expectations of other internal teams with these customer needs. Marketing is at the coalface of interacting with customers at scale and so it makes sense that marketers would bring the customer’s perspective to the rest of the business.

By lining up your stakeholders’ priorities and the commercial objectives of your organisation with the needs of customers, a clear model for marketers’ own success emerges. Simply put, deliver against the expectations you’ve set with the customer and you’ll be delivering to your internal audiences’ priorities too.

The simplest way to do this is to focus on doing the basics flawlessly every time. On many occasions, marketers don’t deliver on even their most fundamental promises to customers, which means they can’t deliver to their business’ priorities and goals.

Mackey gives extra context to the importance of this approach by highlighting the fact that the basics are often overlooked by competitors and, by focusing on getting them right, we can create significant commercial advantage, “I often say, if we can consistently execute the basics, we'll be way out in front of most of our competitors because we often struggle to consistently get the basics right.” 

“If you've got your product data, specification information, technical support data… all in one place, all-accessible for anyone facing a customer, whether it's in service, on the phone, via email, on the website, out on the road with a sales team, if they've all got access to a common, standard set of data that's consistent and accurate, you're off to a very good start,” says Mackey.

Once you have your basics in place and you’re meeting the expectations of your customers and internal audience, you can start to think about more complex operational challenges, such as experimenting with processes, people and technology to optimise your basics.

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