Here are some tips to get off to a great start in 2013, by refocusing your efforts for another exciting and challenging year ahead with the customer firmly at the core of your business.

Here are our Tips for New Year Resolutions that refocus your business around your customers.

1. As a board level or senior Manager the onus is on you to start the ball rolling. The focus must come from the top.

2. Recognise that change is the new bottom-line and that the past is not a example of how the future will be.

3. Work from the top from your Mission statement down through company objectives and into operational activities. Honestly assess the degree to which your organisation and its structure is customer-focused.

4. Consider using an external consultant or agency to audit your company’s marketing performance and focus as an alternative.

5. Involve your teams in making suggestions as to how a more customer-focused approach can be achieved. Getting their buy in early on is crucial, not only because will you get a cross section of ideas from the people closest to your customers, but also because they will feel more comfortable and committed to the process and to its success.

6. Set up systems for collecting and communicating customer feedback and ensure that customers are responded to.

7. Ensure that job descriptions and objectives, appraisals, training, rewards and incentives are built on meeting and exceeding customers’ needs.

8. Set up systems to monitor your market, your competitors and trends in the changing behaviour of your customers or potential customers.

9. Ensure that moving forward your company is structured around customers’ needs and moves away from products.

10. Identify and agree on areas which need the most attention and focus on these first. Prepare an outline plan with timescales as to how and when these will be tackled with your team(s).

11. Celebrate early successes with the team, and reward their efforts ongoing for embracing changes which result both customer satisfaction increasing and customer loyalty increasing over time.

Good luck!

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