Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Company Growth Through Customer Focus

What is growth? Growth can be defined as the process of increasing in physical size. For years companies have focused on growth through sales, new-product launch, and advertising their product features against competitors. Companies have even gone as far as a reduction in headcount or eliminating incentive and/or benefit programs to ensure growth. With fierce competition and the drive to make products/services better and less expensive companies continue to drive down cost to keep customers buying from them vs. the competition. However, companies can only cut the product/service margins to a certain point.
With the growing number of large corporate retail chains and numerous online sources to buy the same product from at the same price, how do you keep customers coming back to buy from you? This idea can be applied to retail, service centers, healthcare, and the food industry.
The company I work for is aware of this challenge and has decided to switch gears and move their entire focus around the customer. They realize that prices can only drop so low therefore; they must find other ways to keep the competitive edge. The vision is to not only make the customer 100% satisfied with our products but more importantly, the service we offer. With the idea in mind that the more satisfied customers are with your service (including price of your products), the more likely they are to continue to do business with you.
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria puts a strong emphasis around customer focus. It brings light to something that for years many companies have ignored…the customer. Without customers a company cannot exist. Should companies put more of a focus around customers? Also, are customers willing to pay more for products or services from a company with a greater focus around customer satisfaction?

-K Janowiecki

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