Rowan Trollope of Five9 discusses why he believes you should focus on your customers, not your competition.
Customer service has quickly become a major company differentiator as a result of changing customer behaviours during the pandemic. How does a company best approach successfully navigating this change?
The answer is quite simple: focus on your customers and not on your competitors. While competitive analysis is important, a successful company will never lose sight of prioritizing what really matters: its customers.
Our number one value at Five9 is to “always do the right thing for the customer”. We don’t outline our goals in terms of “beating the competition” or “winning”.
There are two reasons for this:
1. Customers Should Always Come First
When a company’s sole focus is on beating its competition and prioritizing winning, it is limiting to the work and creativity that can be fostered in employees. By simply attempting to do better than those around you, your company suffers because you are not considering the best that your company can do, only what others are achieving.
By instead fixating on the best service that your company can provide to customers, the opportunity to fulfill top potential can be realized.
2. Company Purpose
In the CCaaS world, our own company’s success is based on the success of our customers. We prioritize focusing on customers rather than the competition because being driven by beating those around you does not give the company a sustainable purpose.
Once you are better than your competitors, what will you do afterwards? Without a focus on the system within which a company is operating, it is impossible to maintain the drive needed to keep your company’s momentum.
The problems with focusing on a goal as opposed to the system at large are articulated in James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. Clear stresses that there are four things wrong with hyper-focusing on goals:
- Winners and losers have the same goals
- Achieving a goal is only a momentary change
- Goals restrict your happiness
- Goals are at odds with long-term progress.
Achieving a goal is the outcome of executing a system or a process. Understanding these systems is key to finding sustainable practices in customer service that provide motivation for a company to excel.
In a business, ‘being number one’ is the outcome of customers choosing your company over others and differentiating yourself through excellent customer service. You achieve that by being better at understanding your customers and obsessing about serving them, not by obsessing about the competition.