March 6, 2018

If You’re Not Putting Your Customers First, Someone Else Is

BY Caitlin Delohery IN Relationships 0 Comment

It’s easy to get distracted by the everyday tasks that keep your business running. You have meetings with your sales team to make sure everyone is aligned on your vision, your product, and your long-term goals. You have financial and operational decisions to make. And there are always more emails to respond to and calls to return.

In doing all that work, customer interactions can quickly become just another item to check off of your to-do list. 

But, your customers are moving fast, too — they are busy, too. They don’t have time to be ignored. So, if you’re forgetting to keep them at the center of everything you do — always — your competitors have an opening to take them off your hands.

Because in sales today, it’s not the product with the most flash and features, it’s not the service with the most options that wins — it’s the company that gives their customers the attention they need.

Here’s how to keep your customers front and center in your business.


To know what it takes to make your leads and customers feel like they come first, you need to ask them what they want.

  • Pool your team’s knowledge about effective sales calls, unique use cases, and other customer-generated info.
  • Survey your customers — satisfied and not — to find out what you did right and what you can improve in the future.
  • Don’t forget in-person conversations. Meet up with your customers and find out what their biggest challenges are — and how you can help to meet them.

Looking for more tips on connecting with your audience? Check out our article on how to close more sales with kindness.

Develop real relationships.

When your customers reach out to you, they aren’t looking for another transaction. They are looking for interaction.

And your competitors know it. Nearly 90% of companies expect to compete on the basis of customer experience alone.

To create a strong customer experience, you need to take the listening you’ve been doing and apply it.

  • Refer to information you gained in previous conversations to let your contacts know you’ve been paying attention.
  • Personalize your emails and other outreach. Move beyond a first name or a job title to include specific resources based on your leads’ and customers’ interests and needs.
  • Use a CRM to organize customer data, requests, and input.

Looking for more on building relationships with a CRM? Check out our article on how a CRM is your most important sales tool.

Link your strategic vision to customer satisfaction metrics.

Putting customers first goes beyond great customer service. To truly top your competitors, you need to build the customer into every aspect of your company — from your mission statement to your strategic goals.

And to make sure big-picture thinking is grounded in your customer, track customer satisfaction metrics regularly.

Here are some customer satisfaction metrics you might choose:

  • Net Promoter Score (likelihood to recommend to friends)
  • Overall satisfaction
  • Intention to purchase again
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Churn rate

By keeping an eye on these happiness indicators, you can be sure your customer remains your North Star.

Looking for more on putting your customers first? Check out our article on how to always be helping in sales.


Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

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