From Customer Focus to Customer Obsession: A Necessary Transition For Businesses to Reignite Growth

Credit: Cottonbro via Pexels

The pandemic has exponentially changed how we do many things—from how we shop to where we work to how we interact with one another. It fundamentally changed the entire business landscape—both how consumers buy and how businesses sell. The real indicator of business success now centers around the customer—the ability to acquire, retain and satisfy.

Since early 2020, we have seen major shifts in consumer behavior. In particular, massive shifts to digital channels have led to rapid requirements for digital transformation. The new digital-centric consumer demanded better customer experiences. As a result, businesses needed to pivot and reimagine their customer engagement and experience strategies.

Customer Obsession: Secret Sauce For Business Success

Customer obsession has become the new buzzword. And while the word “obsession” may have a slightly negative connotation, when it comes to businesses and their customers, it’s great value to have. A customer-obsessed company generally prioritizes the question “Is what I’m working on helping my customers?” and rigorously pursues customer feedback at every step of the way.


An ideology that influences everything that a business does, customer obsession means going above and beyond to serve them and make their experience the most delightful one. These businesses put customers at the heart of everything they do.

Today, numerous global studies show the impact of customer obsession when it comes to acquisition, retention, and long-term brand loyalty. It is a unique differentiator that ensures a mutually beneficial and enhanced relationship between the two. With the increasing expectations and rise of more and more competition, companies that fail to match pace with customer expectations will struggle to remain competitive.

The Importance Of Knowing Your Customer

Today, customers respond to brands that respond to them. This is not only limited to what they buy, but also how they buy it and how the brand makes them feel. Reflecting on how your priorities compare to those of your customers can be a great way to achieve your goals. Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes allows you to do this.

Let’s talk about the significant attributes of a customer-obsessed company and the top four benefits this kind of culture reaps for a business:


Understanding the importance of customer feedback

Running a business means that you are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the products and services you offer to your customers. This is where customer feedback comes into play. Listening to customers not only helps in improving satisfaction but also gives you important data that helps in making better business decisions.

Leveraging data to anticipate customer needs

A customer-obsessed organization uses customer feedback to help develop new products and services that meet the changing needs of customers. This means establishing a continuous feedback loop that includes customers and potential customers. This is all the more important as the pandemic continues to influence customer behaviors and expectations.

Having a culture of curiosity

To gain a deeper understanding of customers and attain the goal of serving them well, businesses that are customer-obsessed will have curiosity baked into their culture. This curiosity constantly looks for insights into customer problems, goals, and market trends.

Instilling Customer Satisfaction as a goal in employees KPIs

As frontline employees are the ones who interact with customers on a daily basis, aligning them with the company’s main goals and vision toward achieving customer obsession becomes crucial. Involving all employees in practicing this approach can power great customer experiences.

What Does It Take To Achieve Customer Obsession

In a world where consumers have a myriad of choices, all businesses must understand that their success lies in making a human connection with customers to inform key business decisions. To truly succeed, businesses need to deep-dive into the nitty-gritty of why consumers act a certain way and what cultural influences are at work in shaping their perceptions and understandings in order to make decisions that drive revenue, retention and customer satisfaction.

The best way to achieve this is by focusing on human insight. Human insight is the process of understanding your customer better by listening and observing with empathy. It enables you to connect the dots between what people think, feel, say, and do. In fact, human insight can provide marketers with a 360-degree view of their audiences and can also serve as a brand’s ‘cheat sheet’ to grow exponentially in the future.

Companies that value human insight understand that they are selling not just a product but also an experience; they draw out what the consumer really thinks and feels and applies that back into their offering. The information extracted from such initiatives also provides an understanding of where the customers are coming from and how they experience the world.

The events of the past year have made people realize how important it is to establish connections. By improving the human connection in an increasingly digital world, brands can outperform their peers in the space and enable healthy customer obsession, which in turn gives companies the strength they need to succeed and thrive.

Janelle Estes

Janelle Estes

Janelle Estes is the Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting and a contributor to Branding in Asia Magazine.

Read More

subscribe & get more brand in your diet


get more brand in your diet

We never share your info,
we only share ours