In an organization that is dependent on the market for their growth, customers are the most important; after all, it takes months to acquire a potential customer but only seconds to lose one! If you have the key competency skills to please customers in a customer oriented organization, you are sure to make a mark in the performance appraisal system. If you don’t, then developing the key competency skills of managing and understanding customer needs, both internal and external, is going to help you grow in your career. Many organizations fail to be customer centric and instead are profit oriented and this stunts the growth of the customer success rate.
Use your key competency skills to be customer centric:
Getting a fair reflection from your customer database in a timely manner is important to get a true evaluation of your products and services. According to Bill Gates, your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning; which comes to show that reaching out to customers may not be the most pleasant experience, but it definitely is a good source of feedback. Use your key competency skills to get through to your customers and find out what they want and what they think is wrong now. Look at your products and services from the eyes of your customers and propose changes to the organization with records of customer complaints.
Keep your calm
An unpleasant colloquy could set you off; however, since customers are the most important to your organization, you can’t do that because it will reflect you in a poor light in the performance appraisal system. Managing angry customers is a key competency skill you must develop if you want to stay in an organization that is a free enterprise system. Answer all legitimate questions and statements but nothing more. Stick to what you know, don’t make up an answer. Take note of all complains and questions that you don’t know the answers to and be sure to pass it on to the people in charge of the respective questions and complains.
Developing a relationship with internal and external customers will help create a line of communication both ways; when you need information from them or when they want help with something. This relationship however, is more favorable to you because you will be able to develop the key competency skill to prognosticate customer behavior and needs before it happens or them realizing it. This will always keep you one step ahead and your organization will seem just magical to your customer! Keep them on their toes, with some surprises or a bargain on the service or product they ordered, or free samples. Take the initiative to come up with new ideas to keep your customers in awe and going the extra mile for your organization will probably reflect the performance appraisal system of our organization.
Become the customer
The best way to understand customer needs is to think like your customer. What is your product or service worth and how much would you pay for it from our pocket? How much turnaround time will you accept? These questions to yourself are important because you cannot expect the customer to do something you would not do yourself. As a customer of other products and services, think of all the satisfactory and dissatisfactory transactions that you have encountered. This will help you progress your products or services with a benchmark in mind. Launch two groups of data, one for satisfactory experiences and the other for dissatisfactory experiences. Then use your key competency skills to implement the good experiences into your product and create a work flow plan with complete elimination of the dissatisfactory experiences. However, this might be subjectively focused on you and therefore, creating a parallel focus group that would objectively quantify problem areas, customer needs, wants and pricing problems is vital.
When it comes to designing your work and schedule, make it work from your customer’s point of view. Do what you know what your customers want and need and not what you want or need. The key competency skills of being customer centric will not only help you win the markets over but also, win points in your organization’s performance appraisal system. Many organizations fail over time due to the lack of a customer centric work flow.
Fall and learn
Markets change, trends change and needs change; therefore, keep creating an atmosphere where you can try new things and improve existing products and services. Keep yourself motivated to develop your key competency skill of innovation and don’t be put down by failure and accept that the only failure you will face is satisfaction. Stay in the continuous rhythm of improvement that is focused on quality and customer satisfaction. The higher management sees all, and they are the people who manage the performance appraisal system.
Keep yourself in check
Sometimes people get so focused on work that they forget their primary targets – the customer. Understand that your organization has a customer target criteria and designing your work around what you want the most, might not satisfy the needs of the customer. Stay focused on your work and who the product or service is for. Work hard and in continuance towards the improvement of the product or service. Reinstate forgotten work principles to yourself on a regular basis.
Observe the processes and work flows in different fields of work, maybe at a restaurant, the theatre or the supermarkets. Then think of how you would design it according to your principles and how the things you liked were designed. If you liked or imagined fast customer service, quick turnaround time, courteous customer support executives or good value for money, then try to instill those qualities into your own work.
In a growing, widespread and well-connected economy that we have today, customers have more information and more choices. On the other hand, the number of competitors are on the increase and they are all fighting for the same wallet. In such an intensively competitive business world, it is extremely essential to keep the prime focus on the customer. If you are able to develop your core competency skills of customer orientation, you can be sure to make individual growth in your career.