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Why you need to be fixated on customer obsession

By Susie Clark

MD Susie Clark spoke at the BMC's Customer Obsession in B2B Marketing event. Here's why she thinks you can't be obsessed enough when it comes to your customers...

Obsession. It can be a dangerous thing. But when it comes to your customers, you can’t be obsessed enough. Last week, I was privileged to give a talk at the BMC’s Customer Obsession in B2B Marketing event, discussing why customer experience is no longer enough. But what does the term customer obsession actually mean? And how do you measure and deliver against it?

What is customer obsession?

Customer obsession can be defined as:

Customer obsession describes organizations that continuously add value to the customer experience. These companies collect feedback regularly and prioritize customer needs in every business goal. They’re more concerned with retaining and delighting existing customers than acquiring new ones.

(Source: HubSpot)

What it’s not

Customer obsession isn’t about being reactive. Trend jumping and trying to respond to every single customer move is ineffective and ultimately exhausting. Rather, you should be seeking to anticipate where the customer will go next and build more meaningful journeys with a clear, strategic plan.

It’s a team effort

Critical to getting customer obsession right, is getting everyone on board. From HR, marketing, product, sales and all the way up to the C-Suite, all the departments need to be on the same page. On top of this, your business is going to need the right combination of agility, connectivity and insight.

Or as Amazon CEO and customer obsession pioneer, Jeff Bazos, put it “the most important single thing is to obsessively focus on the customer. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better”.

9 quick tips to get you started

  1. Get in front of your customer if it’s the first thing you do. Know what makes them tick. Who are they? What are they about?
  1. Understand your data and how it aligns and integrates. What are the next logical steps in your data journey?
  1. Apply a personality to differentiate your brand. You’ll be surprised how similar you are to your competitors
  1. Create digital relationships beyond your line of work
  1. Measure on interactions rather than one big number. Purely measuring acquisition or the like will just give you a measure of your business processes and actually detracts from being a company that embraces customer obsession
  1. Answer the question that nobody has asked, rather than the one you think is obvious so don’t mirror your business, mirror what your customer wants
  1. Use your insight cleverly – and match the fragmented needs of different customers
  1. Understand and use the language your customer uses
  1. Understand the role of your brand – obsessing over a customer means obsessing over a brand that exceeds your customer’s needs. Make a promise that matters to them and that you can keep

These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling. If you’d like to chat about implementing customer obsession into your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch at

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