What Does It Mean To Be Customer-Centric?
Customer-centricity means to put the customer at the heart of everything your business does. You might think that’s easy, but there are very few organisations that manage to do it well. Customer-centric organisations take proactive steps to understand the wants, needs and communication their customers require and serve them these experiences at the right time and in the right place.
For organisations to become customer-centric business strategies need to align with a customer strategy. Customer-centricity is as much a strategy as it is a culture. This tends to be where most organisations go wrong, many don’t have a customer strategy. Business strategy, targets and sales often negate the want and need for brands to ensure customers enjoy their experience at every touch point. I’m sure you all have examples of receiving excellent care and attention until you hand over the money.
Customer-centricity needs to be ingrained in every aspect of organisations for them to build truly meaningful and intentional customer experiences. It also needs to have the same level of value placed on it as the monetary and growth goals of the organisation.
Why is customer-centricity important?
Customer-centricity is obviously an important factor in ensuring your customer has a positive experience that they will want to repeat if it’s required. There are, however, also many business benefits that can be realised by having a customer centric approach.
Three organisational benefits of being customer-centric:
Providing an experience that customers want to keep coming back to offers organisations many benefits to an organisation.
Having the opportunity to collect data and behavioural learning will grow your understanding of want motivates and drives your customers to keep coming back.
Also, often overlooked in the demand to bring in more leads and converting them to sales is the Lifetime Value of a Customer. The more you invest in a long term relationship with your existing customers, the less it will cost you in the long run to always be searching for new customers.
A more cohesive and efficient workforce
We’ve worked with many organisations where marketing is responsible for leads (not customers), with sales taking the leads and turning them into the money with the final step of the customer service team being responsible for sorting out the complaints.
These departments work solely on metric and monetary based goals, both at a business and individual level. Sale made, move on to the next bit of money.
Having customer-centricity ingrained in your company culture provides clear and distinctive roles and responsibilities that sit across internal departments, whereby rewards should be focused on retention and exceptional experience.
A competitive advantage
With higher expectations, increased flexibility and more varied options, customers don’t have to look far to find an alternative brand to provide similar or better experiences. In a recent Qualtrics survey, 80% of customers say they have switched to a different brand because of poor customer service, 43% of respondents say they would switch to a new brand after a single bad interaction.
In a world of expected personalisation companies will can gain a huge advantage by providing a service customers want.