You're an expert in your role, but what about understanding your customer's role? Learn about how developing a deep understanding of customers can give you a competitive advantage in any industry.
- How do you stand out from the competition? What makes you different? This question usually makes us think of price, features, or other selling points we talk about with potential customers. Those things are great and, no matter what your role, it's important you understand them. But there's another way you can be better than your competition, and that's by developing your business acumen. Business acumen is your understanding of your company and the market landscape.
And when you understand your business, you can be more helpful to your customers. The key is to ask questions and find the answers. Start with, how does our business make money? Obviously, you have customers. But how much do they pay? What kinds of expenses does your business have? What's the margin on the typical sale? When you have a good understanding of your business, the next step is to develop your knowledge of the industry. Again, you need to ask questions and research the answers.
What's changing? Are there new competitors in your space? What are the predictions for your industry five and 10 years down the road? How has technology changed your business? What's the social perception of your company or your industry? What do people typically expect from your industry? Are you thought of as trusted or transactional? When you have a deep, holistic understanding of the business landscape, it naturally becomes part of how you think.
It helps you take action based on informed decisions. A lot of times, we get so stuck in our day to day role, we don't think about these questions, so we just leave them for executives. That's a mistake. Keeping your finger on the pulse of the business landscape is foundational for a service mindset. You'll come up with better ideas, you'll be more strategic, and you'll be a better leader. You'll be someone who gets it.
And those are the businesses and the people who come out on top.
- Identifying your true customer
- Quantifying the impact your role has on customers
- Keeping customers top of mind in a back-office or support role
- Motivating yourselves and your peers in the pursuit of customer impact
- Talking about wins, goals, and mistakes
- Remaining customer driven when your organization is not