In some ways it is almost easy to think that you should always improve your business for your bottom line. Whatever brings about benefits to you as a business owner has to be worth it, doesn’t it?
Yet if you ignore your customer throughout any business improvement project, you could well find that you don’t actually have a business to improve, because your customers have voted with their feet and gone off to your competitors.

Customers Are Your Bottom Line

It is actually no exaggeration to state that the purpose of a business is to make a profit but profits can only be made if you keep your customers happy, so in a sense, any improvements to a business need to be aimed at satisfying your customers, but in turn this will help you to survive and even flourish.

Customer Complacency

There is always a risk of becoming complacent about customers and customer satisfaction. Although it is illogical, once a firm customer base has been established, it is easy to think that your customers like what your company has to offer and so they will keep using your business to meet their needs.
But the reality is that customers are fickle and if they discover that they can secure the same product or the same service from one of your competitors, for a lesser price or on better terms, they will go to the competitor, so it is important not to take customers for granted.
That is why if you only undertake business improvements to meet your own particular needs, then you run the risk of alienating customers and almost driving them away.

Customer Is King

Although it sounds glib, the customer really does have to be viewed as a king, with their needs central to any business improvements. It is also important not to make assumptions about what your customer wants or is looking for. The only way to tell for sure how the needs of your customers can be met, or if they are satisfied with your products or services is to ask them.

This can be undertaken in a number of ways, either formally or informally, but it has to be done. Similarly any business improvements that are being planned will require customer input, since there may be hidden or unforeseen consequences of any improvement that can impact on your customers.
Implementing business improvements without at least some input from your customers is therefore a dangerous strategy.

Communication Is Vital

Communicating with business customers or ensuring that they are consulted on improvements that you are planning, helps customers feel that they are valued and that you care about their business. Yes, customers are fickle, but keeping them in the loop helps you to retain their custom if they are tempted to look to your competitors.

Your Bottom Line

Thus in a business the customer has to be the bottom line or the A to Z of all business improvements. This will help your business to not just survive, but grow as well, so that you can reap greater rewards from the company.
So in a sense it could be argued that undertaking business improvements to meet your customer’s needs meets your bottom line by ensuring that the business is healthy and robust. But look at the business improvements purely in terms of the customer and what you receive will be a very positive ‘bottom line’ but it is a by product of the whole process. Your positive outcomes are not the driving force behind business improvements; the outcomes for your customers are!

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