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Customer Focus Checklist


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Customer Focus Checklist How to keep your customers focused on your target product/service? How to increase customer satisfaction while ensuring the product/service is in great demand? What competitive advantages does customer focus generate for your company? These and many other critical questions are addressed in this Customer Focus Checklist.

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  1. Customer Focus: Overview.
    • What. Customer Focus is a management technique for determining how products, services, quality levels, and performance measures can be best aligned to and focused on target customers who are satisfied and ready to make purchases. It is a mechanism that allows managers to ensure that all employees involved in customer management service work towards customer-oriented objectives and thereby resolve most of existing customer problems.
    • When. The technique is used when an organization begins a major review of business activities to check whether key customers are affirmed and oriented towards target products/services. Customer focusing helps determine how to best treat customers when there’s a change in the strategic business direction or new products/services are added. It is also helpful when identifying key factors to be included in quality policies.
    • How. There are several steps to implement the technique. Below in this checklist we will list and describe all the steps of customer focusing to help you understand how to set and reach customer-oriented objectives.
  2. Step #1. The Inputs.
    • Overview. The first step requires you to collect and analyze some information about your company’s products/services, customers, values and success expectations. It is intended to produce the inputs for further customer focusing and engagement. Complete the following tasks to do the 1-st step.
    • Identify Priority Customers. First of all, you must make a list of your company's most important customer groups arranged by importance. It will help you determine which customers wish to purchase more and are satisfied with their purchases. They will be the priority customers who are supposed to be focused on and engaged in your products/services.
    • Identify Outputs (Products & Services). Now try to determine and list the company's most important product/service groups (the outputs) ordered by importance and relevance to the company. In such a way you will identify products/services producing most of the company’s revenue.
    • Determine Values. You need to make a list of the characteristics of the company's products/services that are most important to and valued by your priority customers. It will help you prioritize the most valued products/services among the outputs and thereby focus your customers on those products/services.
    • Measure Success. Finally, you must create success criteria to measure success of the prioritized products/services and determine whether your customers are focused on and engaged in purchasing and using the products/services.
  3. Step #2. Customer Needs.
    • Overview. When you complete the first step, you get the inputs for identifying a custom problem. These inputs are Priority Customers, Key Products/Services, and Values. During the second step you can use the inputs to find out whether the products/services really address your customers’ problems and needs. The RATER method will be helpful for you. By using active listening along with this method you can reach your customers and determine their needs. Do the following tasks to complete the 2-nd step.
    • Reliability. Identify whether your customers think that your products/services are reliable, valued, accurate and consistent.
    • Assurance. Be sure the priority customers are confident of the knowledge and courtesy of your employees who offer products/services.
    • Tangibility. Determine whether your customers regard your products/services as tangible, attractive and are user-friendly.
    • Empathy. Explore whether the priority customers are treated in a caring and empathic way; then you can better understand their needs and provide appropriate and timely information and individualized attention.
    • Responsiveness. Make sure your employees are flexible enough to respond to customer needs and resolve customer problems promptly and effectively.
  4. Step #3. Solution.
    • Overview. The third step in customer focusing requires you to determine solutions that satisfy customer needs and resolve customer problems. The RATER method used during the previous step helps you to explore whether your products/services are relevant and valued to your customers’ needs. Now you can try to determine what solutions can be developed to improve your products/services and make them fully compatible with the customers’ needs. Thereby you will contribute to strengthening custom focus. Do the following tasks to complete the 3-rd step.
    • Determine Opportunities. You need to identify what opportunities for product/service improvement exist. Improvement means making a change to a product/service, such as increasing quality, reducing price, adding features, etc. For this purpose you can use a product improvement approach.
    • Select Opportunities. When you determine opportunities, you must realize which of them are feasible and cost-effective. You can use a cost-effectiveness analysis along with feasibility study to select the most feasible and economically reasonable opportunities. When all this is done, selected opportunities can be regarded as solutions that are ready for implementation.
    • Develop Solutions. Solution development requires you to use your company’s facilities and resources. There should be a detailed plan on how to develop solutions. You can use a project management method to organize the solution development process and create a respective project for implementing solutions. Such a project requires a team, resource commitment and change control, so be ready to make investments and considerable effort.
  5. Step #4. Competitive Advantages.
    • Overview. When your priority customers are focused on and engaged in buying and using your products/services, then your company gains a range of competitive advantages that let be leading and reach higher revenues. All the solutions developed during the previous step helped your company to reach the customers and address their needs. Now the company can build a success achievement strategy that is based on the following competitive advantages.
    • Speed-to-Market. Customer focus lets you adapt processes and procedures running in your company to meet changing business and market conditions quickly, while improving the ability to respond to customer demands and outperform competitors.
    • Quality and Upgradeability. Increased quality of your products/services ensures ...

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