The relationship between business and customer has changed greatly over the years.
In the past, businesses held the power, offering their service or product without the need to consult customers.
And while that may have worked in the early 2000s, today the modern customer holds the power.
With increasing competition, competitive prices, and the ability to select from a range of online and offline options, it’s become extremely challenging for businesses to maintain relationships and build loyalty.
This shift in consumer behaviour has inevitably given rise to customer centricity; allows organizations to consistently meet customer needs.
Highlighting its impact on the world of business today, we’re defining customer centricity and exploring how it’s assisted in building brand advocacy in an increasingly competitive landscape.
What is Customer Centricity?
Customer centricity is the understanding of customers’ preferences, values and expectations. It is putting the customer first and at the center of strategy and operations.
In taking a customer-centric approach, the experience is improved and more personalized, creating stronger customer relationships that lead to advocacy and loyalty.
While many businesses strive to develop a customer-centric culture, a substantial shift is needed in terms of mindset and operations. Customer-centricity requires complete company buy-in and a strategy to better understand customer needs and motives.
The Value of Customer Centricity
Customer centricity comes with a wealth of benefits. The first and most obvious is an increase in loyalty. As we previously mentioned, the modern customer holds the buying power, further one in three customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. With the ability to select from a range of competitive businesses, catering to their needs is a major swaying factor in business selection.
Following loyalty comes revenue. Today’s customers crave personalization and unique experiences, something not attainable without a customer-centric approach. According to a study by Deloitte, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies that are not focused on the customer.
Thirdly, customer centricity holds immense value in staying ahead of the curve. By consistently measuring the experience you stay in the know of preferences and trends, which gives you a better understanding of the market. Using this insight you can see the direction your industry is going in and what competitors might be offering.
Last, but certainly not least, customer centricity impacts employee experience. Since they interact with each other on a daily basis, highly satisfied and engaged customers can lead to a more pleasant experience for employees. In fact, in a study by Berkley companies with best-in-class customer experience have 60% more employees that are highly engaged.
How To Create a Customer-Centric Culture
It’s evident that adopting a customer-centric approach to business has its upsides. Here we touch on a few ways you can get started with your business.
It Starts With A Shift In Mindset
It goes without saying that businesses have operated revenue first, for a very long time. Although it may be challenging, the first step is to adopt a new mindset on strategy and success.
It’s important to understand that while making money is crucial to business survival, customers are ultimately the ones who make the buying decisions. By authentically listening to them, and making changes to better suit their needs, revenue will follow.
Develop a Customer-Centric Goal
Aside from making your customers happy, what do you want to achieve as a business by taking on a customer-centric approach?
There are a number of specific goals you can set to ensure customer centricity is at the core of your business. For instance, are you looking to; learn more about customer spending habits? Hold teams accountable for personalized interactions? Understand the competitive landscape better? Or evolve your range of products/offerings?
When navigating a customer-centric approach, consider the outcomes you’d like to achieve and how you can get there. Having goals not only provides a tangible number but also helps you and your team keep customer-centricity at the core of your operations.
Customer centricity involves buy-in from your entire organization. Whether it be people in the back end making sure operations are running smoothly, or the employees who deal with customers one on one, every department counts.
As you make the shift and establish goals, make sure to regularly communicate with your team and hold meetings to provide feedback on progress. Everyone should be working cohesively and always in the know of their level of service.
When considering technology to assist you in your customer-centric objectives there are two elements to consider:
- The ability to measure the customer experience
- To easily and intuitively communicate with customers
Firstly, let’s explore measurement capabilities. These allow you to extract insight from your customers. They provide you with direct data on sentiment, product preferences, employee productivity, facility cleanliness and more. Having this insight allows you to modify and improve the experience based on customer feedback – that’s about as customer-centric as you can get. With a solution like the Loop Experience Platform, you can even get insight in real-time to take immediate action. This ensures customers leave your facility happy and tended to – both elements of a strong customer-centric business.
Secondly, communication capabilities are essential. They help relay important information and updates to your customers. For instance, if a customer submits a complaint, communicating with them and resolving it leaves a positive impression. Further, you can follow up a few hours later and ask for additional feedback while communicating your efforts to deter the issue from happening again. With clear lines of communication, customers feel serviced and tended to.
Regularly Evaluate Progress
Just like customer preferences, your strategy will evolve. With new technology, competitors, and products/services emerging, it’s essential that you’re on top of your experience. This means revisiting the data you’ve collected and making note of business trends and employee performance.
If you’re leveraging a solution like the Loop Experience Platform, insights can be regularly emailed to you in the form of dashboard subscriptions. This ensures you’re always up to date without the uplift.