The process lasted nearly two months. I researched exhaustively, determined what features mattered to me, and scanned specifications for quality. I scouted prices online, browsed at brick-and-mortar shops, and measured the ebb-and-flow of discount trends. Finally, I settled on the right juicer at the right price from the right store.


Every customer, in their own timeframe, makes these same decisions. Companies around the globe try to cater to their customer's needs. Only successful businesses determine what really matters. These five conditions will gravitate customers into your company's orbit.


1. Functionality. I sat in a training room with a handful of wireless industry leaders less than a year after Apple introduced the first iPhone. The trainer introduced the first Android smartphone, the HTC G1, which came equipped with the ability to download over a hundred applications. My class marveled at the apps, including the ability to scan a barcode to identify the price of a product. "Just to let you know," the trainer speculated, "you might see more of these types of apps down the road."
Nine years later, well over one million apps are available for download, changing the way we use our phones forever. This endless capability should be the standard every CEO sets.


2. Quality. Sure, your product works, but how well does it work? You might have a prepared answer, one you truly believe. But anecdotal outliers, microscopic defects or a simple lack of vigilance could hijack your brand’s reputation at a moment’s notice.
Odwalla spent more than a decade cultivating their deserved reputation as a forward-thinking leader in the juice industry. Their environmentally conscious, vigorous business model helped usher in a healthier lifestyle that permeates through our culture to this day. Their dedication to nutrition and organics, as well as their insatiable desire for quality, has sustained a strong and vibrant company. But an outbreak of E.coli in 1996 plummeted Odwalla's sales by ninety percent. It took two years for the company to see another profit, and while Odwalla continues to make an outstanding juice, some customers still can't reach for their drink without hesitating.
Even the most prepared company can suffer a misstep. The quality of your product will determine how well you weather yours.


3. Value. Most mistake value with price or quality, but in reality, price and quality have little to do with value. Value is ultimately defined by the customer, who asks herself, "Does buying this product benefit me?" What is irreplaceable to one customer might be worthless to another.
I have a subscription to Garden & Gun Magazine. The subscription was sold to me by a door-to-door salesperson, a perfectly nice man who respectfully refused to get off my porch until I bought something.

The problem? I own neither garden nor gun. So there it sits: on my coffee table, serving as a monthly coaster for my soft drink. The salesperson made the sale, but I have zero faith he was ever willing to provide me real value.


4. Support. A customer's experience with a company, product or service seldom ends at the point of purchase. You want that customer to enjoy their experience with you. You want that customer to feel welcome to come back for more. And you want that customer to know, if a problem develops, you will take care of it. This is the model of support: a culture that grows a willingness to discover and satisfy the customer’s need from start to finish.


5. Innovation. Innovation isn't simply a method smart companies use to achieve their goals. Customers need to know they're doing business from with someone looking to the future.
Innovation can't help but impress. One client struggled with staggering misdirects and exploding handle times. Costs skyrocketed, prompting them to call ClearView. Through calculated evaluation and real-time monitoring we provide--coupled with cutting-edge gamification--they were able to quickly pinpoint misdirects, adjust their customer approach, and reduce Costs Per Acquisition by 25 percent. This drop in CPA helped them steer their resources back on the right track.


Companies relies on customers, but so often we see companies fail because they don't respect, don't appreciate or simply don't understand their customers. Discovering what matters can be seen in the actions of your customers: Are they invested in a relationship with your business? Or are they still shopping around, searching for a healthier option?