Aligning Customer Needs with Company Growth Strategies

Lauren Krause
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Customers, or a lack thereof, make the difference between a successful, thriving company and a failing corporation on the brink of ruin. In order to develop and flourish, any business must focus its company growth strategies on the customer. Follow these tips to ensure that your customers come first and your company’s success soars.

Managing Innovation

Innovation allows a company to grow and expand, but the process must be handled correctly to ensure success. Management consultant Randy Ottinger offers a three-point plan for managing innovation that focuses on customer needs above all else. First, when the opportunity presents itself for a company to be innovative or head in a new direction, it’s vital that all senior leaders are united in the effort, taking on the endeavor with urgency and enthusiasm. Next, the company’s employees must be organized into cross-functional teams, some keeping their focus on existing clients and sales and others eliminating barriers that stand in the way of innovative growth. Lastly, the company’s managers must continue to cultivate an environment where strategies and innovation can evolve, ensuring revenue growth.

Thinking Ahead

Many successful organizations are able to anticipate customers' need for a product or service before customers even realize they have the need. Tesla, for example, developed a fully electric car that pulls all stops to enhance the customer experience. These cars were thoughtfully designed with customers in mind, combining sports car-like handling with a quiet ride and smart safety features.

Putting Customer Service First

Customer service after the sale is equally as important as the product or service itself. If a product fails or your customer is unhappy with the service he received, your customer service department must be ready to handle the complaint and assure the client his concerns are important. This involves personal attention to each situation to solve your customer’s problem. Whether the complaint comes through a phone call, email or social media post, customer service representatives should address it quickly and sincerely, apologizing and taking action to remedy the issue. Creating a forum allows even more interaction between your customers and customer service agents, letting potential clients see how your company treats its consumers and handles problems. Harnessing the power of customer service through social media also generates word-of-mouth advertising.

Taking Advantage of Training Opportunities

While new hires should always be trained on your company’s customer service process, it’s also important for existing employees — even the most experienced — to enhance their skills with hands-on training opportunities. Recognize instances of exceptional customer service, and share them throughout your organization to allow all employees to learn from the example.

Less than 0.1 percent of all businesses live to see 40 years of success. Incorporating company growth strategies that target your customer is key to the health of any corporation. A company that successfully manages innovation, thinks ahead to anticipate consumer needs, makes customer service a top priority and continues to seek out training opportunities is well on its way to becoming a prosperous and successful enterprise.

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