The longevity of a business goes beyond being an unconventional, forward-thinking market player and maintaining a hard-working workforce. While the primary goal of a business is to rack up profits, the way it deals with customers affects its revenue and growth. Any business has to be profitable, progressive, and capable of competing in today’s market to remain afloat.
No matter the industry you are in or the products and services you offer, customers are the most important component of your business. Without them, your business will not grow or gain profit. Therefore, it is wise to implement strategies that put your customers first.
While focusing on products and services is intrinsic to the success of any business, implementing customer-centric strategies within an organization should be a priority.
What is customer centricity?
Customer centricity refers to a business approach that focuses on ensuring that customer satisfaction is a priority at every stage of the customer journey. It is putting customers at the center of your decisions to build strong customer relationships by providing high-quality experiences.
If your company is not customer-centric, you will have a hard time keeping up with your competitors.
The power of customer centricity
A business that fails to prioritize customers to gain and retain them will have a difficult time surviving. Customer centricity does not only favor customers; businesses that implement customer-centric initiatives gain a competitive edge over their rival companies.
Some advantages of customer centricity:
- Customer-centric companies earn more profit than companies that do not implement customer-focused sales and marketing strategies.
- Satisfied customers are more likely to remain loyal, repeat customers. Moreover, they become active promoters of customer-centric brands.
- Attracting new customers become easier.
- Companies that take time to understand their customers gain valuable insights they can use to improve their products and services.
- Customer-centric businesses tend to outperform rival non-customer-centric businesses.
How to build a customer-centric company?
Customers today have higher standards compared to customers a few decades ago. They are smarter and do not merely settle on brands that offer the products and services they need. They look for brands that can take care of them. Thus, providing mediocre customer service will no longer fully engage and satisfy modern-day customers.
Here are some strategies to cultivate a customer-focused business:
Listen to customers
When customers realize you are committed to listening to them, you gain their trust. Their initial assumption that you exist only to make money disappears.
Getting customer feedback is the first step in creating strategies that align with their needs. While not all comments or suggestions are critical in decision-making, knowing your customers’ wants and needs helps you cater to them better and accurately.
Do not collect feedback just for the sake of it; take action on the feedback you have collected. By leveraging your customers’ feedback, you develop a comprehensive understanding of your customers, anticipate their needs, and learn ways to improve your products and services.
As you listen to customers, empower them to be part of the solution. By involving them, you can take their point-of-view into account and develop a for-profit business that acts upon the needs and wants of its customers to ensure sales.
Talking to your customers on a consistent basis, practicing being proactive when reaching out to them instead of being reactive. Some of the touchpoints you can utilize to communicate with your customers and get their feedback include messaging applications, SMS, email, phone calls, and social media. Conducting surveys is also a way to collect insights from your customers.
Involve everyone in the company
Customer-centric companies nurture a culture of transparency among their workforce to get everyone involved. By making employees a part of the mission and letting them know their significant roles in providing the best customer service, you empower them to perform better. Remember, before setting employees off, you need to make them understand the vision behind the mission.
You should also seek your employees’ input, as the more involved they get, the more customer-centric they become. By hearing their suggestions, you can gain different perspectives to see situations better. When you conduct activities to gather their input, make sure to respect, acknowledge, and put into perspective every proposition.
Becoming a customer-centric company requires time, effort, and consistency. Employees do not become customer-centric overnight. To increase their customer-centric knowledge and skills, providing training is fundamental.
Uphold the vision by constantly promoting and demonstrating it to employees, regularly sharing significant milestones. Moreover, you can offer incentives and rewards to them to amplify the importance of cultivating a customer-centric culture in your organization.
Deliver a superb customer experience
Customer experience is the way your customers view their experience or interaction with a brand or business. According to the Harvard Business Review, it is the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.
Customer experience influences brand perception; therefore, an outstanding customer experience increases customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Here are some situations that cause bad customer experience:
- Unresolved or unattended questions and issues
- Disrespectful employees
- Undelivered or unmet expectations
- Insufficient human interaction due to too much automation
Since your customers have evolving needs and are different and unique from one another, you consistently need to improve their experience regularly, continuously developing your products and services according to their needs. You need to implement ways to improve their experience with your brand. Just remember, you do not have to make abrupt, pivotal changes. Instead, implement gradual, meaningful improvements to optimize the customer experience.
You can leverage technology to enhance their experience. If your business requires your customers to sign documents, you can fast-track the process by using an electronic signature application instead of letting them wait for days just to receive physical documents to sign. If your customers are having a hard time finding ways to communicate with your company, you can set up communication applications for them to be able to reach out to you without problems.
Embrace and cultivate a customer-centric company by implementing progressive strategies that would involve, engage, and empower your customers at every stage of their customer journey