No matter what industry your business is in, it’s your customers that fuel growth. As such, companies should be prioritizing their customers and their experiences above all else. This is where customer obsession comes in.

In this article, we’ll cover:

What is customer obsession?

The digital age came with a broadening of opportunities for customers. Before, they were limited to their location and country but, now, they can choose from brands all across the globe.

With this, came a need for businesses to distinguish themselves from their competitors in different ways; most specifically, with customer experience.

Customer obsession is a mindset within businesses where every decision revolves around improving and prioritizing customer experience over everything else.

From business values and sales to marketing and customer support, everything is catered toward marketing the customer experience with the brand as positive as possible.

With such a demand to distinguish your brand from your competitors for your customers, experience always comes out on top.

What does it mean for a business to become customer-obsessed?

While customer obsession is usually born during the start-up phase of a business, due to its importance to every other part of the business, existing companies can also become more customer-obsessed.

The most important thing when approaching customer obsession this way is to understand that it’ll take time to change your current processes and your business mindset to this way of thinking.

Prioritize customer retention over customer acquisition

While it may sound counterproductive for a customer-obsessed company to not focus on acquiring new customers, the truth of the matter is that customer obsession relates to a brand’s relationship with their existing customers, rather than new ones.

An improvement in customer retention reduces customer churn which, in turn, improves revenue. The fact of the matter is that potential customers aren’t contributing to your profits. It’s existing customers and their consistent spending with your company that makes up the vast majority of your revenue.

As a result, it’s a no-brainer to prioritize these people over new or single-purchase customers. Customer marketers focus on marketing to these customers to improve cross-sell and upsell sales, repeat purchases, and even conversion to advocacy.

Make customer feedback your main drive for improvement

Customers will always know best when it comes to how your brand is experienced throughout the customer lifecycle and the customer journey. What’s important for customer-obsessed businesses is to analyze and act on such feedback.

The greatest way you can express to your customers that their purchases and opinions matter is to show them through your actions. Data collection is vital to customer-obsessed companies, but will only show its value once changes to the business have been made based on such feedback.

(This is also extremely true for employee engagement. As your employees have a day-to-day understanding of how your customers interact with your business, if your employees aren’t engaged, then there’s no hope for your customers.)

Set up a customer marketing team

As is reflected in this and the following section, if your marketing department doesn’t have a dedicated customer marketing team, you should think about prioritizing the types of responsibilities a customer marketer has, or build a specific team for it.

Customer marketers are dedicated to marketing to your existing customers, meaning that they’re a key point of contact to ensure engagement is improved.

Which products, schemes, and experiments do you have in store that would benefit from customer input? Which ones should be marketed toward which customer segments within your existing customer base?

Customer marketers and their responsibilities will have these answers.

Prioritize revolving your business around Customer Success

Customer success is a position closest to customer engagement, gathering feedback about all stages of the customer journey. From pre-sale, post-sale, and beyond, Customer Success will know about it.

Customer obsession requires teams such as Customer Success to become the priority, as their position revolves around achieving and improving customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

Make your customer service proactive rather than reactive

Anticipating your customer needs is a great way to begin to improve your customer service. This requires you to be consistently gathering customer feedback on all areas of the customer lifecycle.

A customer-obsessed company doesn’t wait for a new campaign to go wrong before it acts. This is where customer advocates can serve to support customer engagement.

Like a test screening for a movie, these customers are the raving fans of your business and are a great test for whether or not a new concept aligns with your customer needs.

How does customer obsession relate to customer marketing?

So where does customer marketing come into all of this? Well, if you haven’t already guessed, customer marketing is a team that’s extremely well suited to companies who are, or are looking to become, customer-obsessed.  

Retention - Customer retention is already built into customer marketing processes as a priority. Customer marketers aim to advertise and market to existing customers with the priority of keeping these customers with the brand and keeping them loyal.

Feedback - Customer marketers already rely on customer feedback to improve their processes. When marketing to existing customers, there needs to be greater importance put on understanding your customer's needs and pain points.

Which is where feedback comes in - and where cross-functional collaboration becomes vital. Feedback about products, points of contact, and touchpoints in the customer journey are relevant to more than just one team.

Customer Success - Cross-functional collaboration is a part of customer marketing, as we’ve already mentioned, and Customer Success is more often the team that Customer Marketing interacts with. Both teams have a close relationship with existing customers, with a priority on improving this relationship.

How are customer marketing teams valued by leadership?

With our first State of Customer Marketing Report released this summer, we gained a lot of insights into customer marketing, its standard processes, and how it’s used in companies today. Our recent article on the topic will go through the main findings concerning the leadership team's involvement in customer marketing.

Here’s what we’ll be talking about:

📈The influence of customer marketing on goals and strategies, and revenue from existing customers,

💡Whether customer marketers are satisfied with their abilities to meet KPIs, and

🤩The importance of customer marketing and customer obsession.