As a leader in your organization it is critical that you know your customers. This means the end-user of your company’s products / services as well as all the internal customers. While this is not a new concept it may be time to stop and reflect on what people need from you and your team. When we are busy keeping up with all our tasks we can easily lose sight of why we are doing the things we are doing. To make sure we are on track and doing the right things we must understand our customers.
To ensure your efforts are in line with what your customers need start with your closest customers. Who inside your organization does your team support? What do they need from you? Have you asked their manager how things are going; is there something more that would help them do their jobs easier? Having a frank conversation with them might reveal that some of the things you are providing are nice to haves but really add no value to your customer. Here’s something that you may be able to stop doing. You may find out that if your team provides a bit more, or on a slightly different schedule it would make it possible for your customer to get their job done more efficiently. This improves the company as a whole. Focus on what the internal customers need and you will find ways to improve the business as a whole.
Next, focus on the end-user of your organization’s products or services. You may see these people every day if you are in a customer facing position. Often however, we are several steps removed from the ultimate customer. Do you know who the target customer is? Do you know what they value in your products? What makes them pick your company over another? If you can get clear on these issues you may be able to find opportunities within your team’s scope of work to make changes that improve the customer’s value and save you time and money. Without a clear understanding of the end customer making changes can cause you to miss the mark on your improvements.
In the daily hustle and bustle it is easy to just do what you’ve always done. However, the world is always evolving and needs shift over time. Make sure you are staying on course by checking in with your customers to see that you and your team are providing the things that will add value to them. Strive to improve the experience your customer has with each contact. Looking ahead to what is valuable to your customers will give insight into what you need to do. To do this, start by getting to know your customer.