Customer Focus Definition – Is It The Same for Everyone?

Is your customer focus definition the same as any other given company in your field? How about across fields, in all the private sector? What about globally? Does it change drastically across different cultures?

The answer is obviously yes, in some ways it does, but take into consideration that some core values are global and still remain intact by human basic commonalities.

That being said, much of the definition has changed a lot over time, as social attitudes, cultural evolution and technological advances have constantly reshaped the way customer relations even work, and how a company must identify itself in the eyes of the consumer.

Let’s look at this for a minute, and see what values shift, and what values seem immutable.

One of the core truths of customer service that transcends most barriers is that the customer is to be highly respected, and service with a smile is almost always a prerequisite. This isn’t a one hundred percent constant, however, as in some cultures, customer service is more of a quiet and reserved affair, while not standoffish.

Another core value to customer focus that seems to remain constant is that of a drive for first call or first contact resolution. No company wants to spend time and money on the same problem twice, and no customer wants to spend their time and money on it twice either. Ergo, solid communications and exchange are something that applies to everyone, even if not everyone has mastered this.

Something that seems to have changed with time, and seems to be uneven today is urgency. People will note that everything’s in a bigger hurry than it once was, and instant gratification is the primary motto of this technologically wealthy world we live in. As a result of this, an urgency in customers to have their issues resolved is very much there. However, not all companies feel that this urgency applies to their industries, but only to things like utilities and live services.

However, despite urgency being unevenly valued, most experts will point out with gusto how important this urgency actually is. So while not everyone seems to accept the truth under their noses, urgency is an important, across the board factor in customer focus.

You will notice shift in other aspects of focus, depending on demographic and industry, though. Services intended for digital use by computer proficient people will tend to have a focus more around online customer service given that the customers are already online using their computers.

Services for average customers tend to adhere to call centers and the like much more heavily, being a bit more traditional and behind the times. This is unfortunate, as call centers are pretty awful and always have been.

The question remains, is customer focus definition the same for everyone? In some ways it is, but in others it is not. Cultures, industries and preconceptions make this a bit of a plate of spaghetti, if you take a slice of real business life and try to learn from it to form a standard.

 

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Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe