Who is your competitor? Most executives who are asked the question won’t even blink: another company, another brand, or another product or service. That is the most conventional answer, but there is another, farther-reaching one:
Any obstacle that the user of a product finds in solving the problem or need for which he or she bought the product.
Reframing the question, it may be logical to say, as was stated in an article in the Harvard Business Review, thatcompanies should become obsessed with their clients, not their competition.
Perfect products are those that analyze and fulfill their users’ needs.
This does not mean we should ignore who is competing in our same market, or their products. But it does seem evident that if clients are not happy with our product, it will not be long before they turn to our competitors’.
How, then, can we fully satisfy our clients?
According to the article mentioned above, we can basically satisfy our clients using two powerful arguments: good products and a good user experience connected to them.
How to achieve this?
Conceiving a product from the outset as something that satisfies a need, and constantly paying attention to consumers, to adapt the product to their demands.
Let us not forget that people’s needs change, and therefore our product must adapt to those shifts and to any other changes in the context. There must be a constant process of evolution-iteration.
To that effect, there is nothing better than receiving continuous information from users of the product. Impressions and suggestions for improvements, but also information on the purchase and delivery process, etc.…
Today’s greatest brands, according to the article in the HBR, are those that cover their clients’ whole customer journey, achieving more sales, visits, renewed sales and thousands of word of mouth references.
These are some of the strategies that make brands masters in customer centricity:
The product and the experience that surrounds it are one. It is not just about marketing a physical good, and the relationship with the consumer is not merely a commercial transaction. Client-oriented brands establish a relationship and build loyalty among their clients from their first contact with the product and throughout their entire customer journey. They receive information from clients and process it to deliver a memorable user experience.
Their scope is global, because they understand that their clients are not only those who buy their products, or people who like them on Facebook. They know that everyone who has the need the product fulfills is a potential client, and from that generality they arrive to the specific, peculiar characteristics of each client collective, to attract them and maintain their loyalty.
They focus on real problems and real people. To do so, they involve clients in the product and the brand itself. They create channels to process the continuous feedback they receive from them, and they even make them participate in building and improving the product.
Let’s focus on our clients instead of focusing on our competitors. Reaching out to them and listening to them is a valuable resource that will allow us to offer better products and services, which is key in creating loyalty.
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