Customer orientation refers to a group of actions taken by a company to support the needs of its clients by engaging sales and support staff in order to ensure customer satisfaction is the major priority. Examples of customer orientation include providing quality products or services, responding quickly and thoroughly to customer feedback and complaints and being sensitive to the community's needs.
A study expounded upon by Baylor University states that proactive customer orientation includes studying customers' behavior and examining industry strategies. Customer orientation was important in all five countries studied. The conclusion drawn was that companies were able to anticipate customer needs if they engaged proactively with customers.
Customer orientation also involves market conditions and client expectations. Success, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, depends on communicating customer needs to everyone in the company. When everyone knows what to expect, goals can be met more easily.
One way to engage in customer orientation is to have an action plan that exemplifies internal customer orientation. This means all employees should help develop the action plan and everyone gets a final copy of the document. The overall point of customer orientation, both internal and external, is to raise profits and increase productivity.