Did you know that customer orientation is capable of boosting the success of an eCommerce store?
Customer focus improves the user experience and incentivizes customer loyalty and retention. If your channels have already been optimized to acquire traffic, but you are leaving customer support aside, you may be missing out on a great business opportunity.
In this article, we teach you what customer orientation is and some examples and strategies that can help you during the implementation phase.
What is customer orientation?
Customer orientation is a business's approach to putting the customer at the centre of its activities. A customer-oriented company invests in solving buyers' needs, and providing quality customer service.
Adopting a customer-focus approach is one of the best ways to meet customers’ expectations and build customer loyalty.
In a world where consumers have all the comforts at their disposal, there’s nothing more effective than inviting them to interact again and again with your brand through a satisfactory shopping experience.
Additionally, customer focus helps you adapt your products or services to new consumer habits, increasing the conversion rate.
Why customer focus is important for a business
Being customer-oriented means that a business will benefit from:
- Strengthened relationships with customers
- Increased repurchase rate
- More customer attraction, at a lower cost
- More sales and conversion at all levels of the funnel
- Brand recognition and better business reputation
- Greater business lifetime value
Examples of customer focus in a business
Any business that’s successful — or at least trying to be — seeks to exceed customers’ expectations and solve their needs. These practical examples are some of the best representations of how to be a company with a strong customer focus.
Going the extra mile with the “unboxing” and delivery experience
Imagine that you’re a furniture company. Some of the giants of the industry are already selling disassembled furniture in-store or, in the best scenario, online. Open an online store that makes the most out of the latest technology to display how the item looks both up close and from afar, but don’t stop there.
You know the hassle of building your own pieces, even if the design and assembly are relatively simple. You choose to deliver these items to customers’ homes and give them the option to have the furniture assembled for them at an affordable price.
This example of customer focus can be applied to many other businesses, like a retailer selling electronics, that can help customers set up the device they just purchased (yes, most mortals know how to “google” stuff, but offering the service never hurt anyone) or a fashion store or nursery, offering basic information on how to take care of a specific garment or plant.
Being there in times of need
Most businesses don’t thrive on everyday commodities, but even those that do can benefit from a strong customer focus.
Water is one of the most important commodities out there. And, although tap water is perfectly safe to drink in some regions, bottled water is still a huge business.
The issue here is converting those tap-water drinkers into bottled water consumers. How? Well, next time there’s a water crisis or any other natural (or unnatural) disaster, you can become the supplier — for free — of water.
Consumers will remember that you were there in times of need, and, who knows, you may even attract other buyers of bottled water to your brand. Two birds with one stone.
Communicating through the same channels
The last example of a customer-focus approach may seem obvious, but it’s still largely unexploited. If your customers use any social media platform — and they’re probably using at least one — it’s extremely important to build a presence on such channels and to be available on them 24/7.
Answering customer questions and claims, targeting customers with marketing campaigns and using the channels to obtain information on customer profiles are just some of the advantages of sharing a space online with your customers.
Top customer orientation strategies
1. Know your customers and market
It’s impossible to guide a strategy toward customers that you don’t know. Create a profile of what your buyers want and need as well as your competitors’ proposals.
2. Place the customer at the center of your business
This is the most important tip. Prioritizing customers has to be the common goal for all departments and employees. Having a database with customers’ information will help the organization access and edit the data and thus optimize the different processes and activities. You can use a CRM system to collect the data and work as a unified point of information.
3. Monitor interactions frequently
Knowing how your customers behave on your website will allow you to evaluate their satisfaction and find friction points to improve the user experience and purchasing process. Find the metrics that are most useful in your particular case and use behavior information to monitor and optimize the selling process.
4. Work with companies that share similar values
Sometimes, the overall experience for customers depends on third parties. This is the case with couriers that can influence, positively or negatively, the impression a brand leaves on a customer through the delivery experience.
Establishing working relationships with stakeholders who share the same vision and are also customer-oriented is key to avoiding bad practices and avoiding a bad reputation for your online store.
5. Include innovative technology in the shopping experience
A unique and positive experience requires being up to date with current consumers’ habits. Providing an outdated service, like a checkout without sufficient delivery options, shouldn’t be the case for your online store, especially if this happens because of a lack of technological resources.
To have a customer-oriented strategy, use Outvio, the post-checkout infrastructure designed for online stores that have customers at the center of their operations. Take a look at our features!
6. Customer communication should be a ‘must’ throughout the selling process
To execute a successful customer orientation strategy, it’s important to automate communication as much as possible.
With automation tools, customers can be informed of any news or business changes that may affect them. Don’t forget to personalize the message to promote your core values and greater affinity with customers.
Advantages of Outvio for customer focus
Outvio allows eCommerce businesses to optimize their post-sales processes to better meet their customers’ needs. For instance, you’ll be able to:
- Enjoy automated and personalized incident management
- Offer an interactive tracking map for all shipments and returns
- Automate the order management and returns process
- Obtain advanced statistics for eCommerce
- Send follow-up messages automatically
- Customize post-purchase communications
Do you want to grow your eCommerce business? Sign up.
FAQ about customer orientation
What is customer orientation as a value?
Many companies focus their growth on satisfying their customers’ wishes and needs to boost customer loyalty. Instead of investing in obtaining new customers, they prefer to take advantage of the customers they already have.
What is the importance of customer support?
Customer orientation is the choice to place the customer at the core of business strategy, which, in turn, improves the profitability of other internal areas such as marketing, sales, customer service and the user experience.
How can my business work on customer orientation?
Customer orientation must be addressed in a structural way in order to integrate the idea into all areas of the business. This affects both pre and post-sale processes.
Because of the competitive market that online businesses now operate in, offering customer support via email or phone is simply not enough. If you want to build a truly profitable and successful company, it has to be customer-focused.
Customer orientation strategies help you build long-term relationships with customers and lower the costs of customer retention and customer acquisition (thanks to word-of-mouth).
After reading these customer orientation examples and strategies, it should be easier to understand what the term implies, its importance and how to implement this approach at your company.
And if you truly want to become a customer-oriented business from now on, sign up and use Outvio to brand your post-purchase communications and touchpoints.