An increasing number of companies are adopting a customer-centric business approach. Customer-centricity refers to the company’s decision to put its customers at the core of the business. The objectives, goals, and mission of the company revolve around the idea of creating a positive experience for the customers.
Examples of highly successful customer-centric companies are Amazon and Zappos. These companies rely on three main strategies to develop and maintain a customer-centric business approach, namely customer development, customer retention, and customer acquisition. On the one hand, customer development and acquisition are about giving more value to existing clients as well as engaging and cultivating a long-term relationship with them. On the other hand, customer acquisition is related to the attraction of the right type of customer. Customer-centric companies focus on potential consumers’ behaviors rather than demographics. This allows them to create more accurate buyer personas and appropriately target them.
Although it may seem that being a customer-centric company equals having good customer service, it is not the case. Customer-centricity is much more than providing good customer service. It’s about offering a product or service that meets customer needs in every possible way, creating a remarkable customer experience.
But how exactly do you become a customer-centric company? This blog presents the three steps to follow to become a customer-centric company.
The first step to becoming a customer-centric company is to bring values related to customer-centricity within the company. The following are ways to create a customer-centric culture within your company:
- One size does not fit all: Apply consumer segmentation
Customer-centric companies analyze their data to identify the unique characteristics of each buyer persona. Through the collection and analysis of clients’ data, companies can create different consumer segments. Segmentation is the ability to divide customers into groups based on their characteristics. This allows companies to provide personalized products and services for each segment. Consumer segmentation can be beneficial for companies in different ways. Firstly, by breaking down the global consumer base, it is possible to create tailored campaigns for the different target groups, allowing marketing departments to make better use of their budgets.
Secondly, while analyzing the company’s consumer base, it is possible to identify new market segments, creating a brand-new opportunity for the company. Finally, by identifying the motivations that lead customers to purchase certain services or products, companies can implement brand strategies related to those needs and expectations. All the above-mentioned benefits of consumer segmentation ultimately lead to increased consumer retention. By creating targeted strategies, companies can create positive customer experiences, consequently reinforcing their relationships with clients.
- Encourage your employees to be customer-centric
To deliver great customer experiences, employees need to embrace customer-centric culture across the enterprise. Help employees understand how to communicate and act in a customer-centric way by organizing workshops and giving them practical skills and tools to deliver the best customer experience. Additionally, motivate the team to share success stories about their contribution to great customer experiences.
Finally, remind employees about the impact they can have on customer satisfaction, profitability and retention.
- Reward employees who go the extra mile for customers
Incentives like bonuses, promotions, raises, but also non-monetary prizes can motivate employees to strive to deliver excellent performances.
The collection of ongoing, real-time feedback from customers provides companies with a continuous flow of information that executives can use to make changes to the business. To do this, companies need to make it easy for customers to provide feedback. They need to give customers multiple ways to get in contact with the company. Enterprises can set up channels with the purpose of collecting customer feedback, like customer support lines, customer service emails and even social media channels. In other words, the easier it is for customers to get in touch, the better.
- Provide omnichannel interaction
The key to providing excellent customer experience is to create an integrated omnichannel strategy that views customer touchpoints not in isolation but as part of a continuous customer journey. Customer journeys are not linear and can significantly vary depending on the specific needs of individual customers. To design an effective omnichannel strategy, companies are required to gain in-depth knowledge of their customer base. In this way, organizations acquire a clear idea of what their customers’ needs and wants are, and base their omnichannel strategy on data.
Companies need to develop an omnichannel experience approach. This approach accounts for every channel and platform customers use to interact with the company. The knowledge that is gained through the analysis of customer interaction with the business can be used to improve the customer experience. Additionally, by following their approach, companies can align their design and communication styles across channels and platforms. By aligning these factors together, businesses can improve their customer service and marketing strategies.
- Use a consistent tone of voice
Maintaining a consistent tone of voice with your clients helps to convey on-brand messages, also creating better relationships with customers. In fact, having the same tone across all the customers’ touchpoints makes them feel at ease by providing familiarity and by setting clear expectations.
- Create a centralized record of interactions and analytics
Employees are often unable to make the right strategic decisions to serve customers due to poor data management practices. It is therefore important that employees who have strategic contacts with clients have immediate access to information collected from customer interactions and purchase history.
Putting the feedback to work
In today’s fast-paced business world, you need to stay on top of what everybody is saying. Collecting, analyzing and implementing customer feedback from multiple channels is fundamental to develop a product or service that customers can’t help but be loyal to. By welcoming customer feedback in your company, you can use it to improve several processes in your business.
Through Customer Feedback Management (CFM), companies can make sure that all the important feedback is used to make the changes that matter. Understanding the customers, segment by segment, allows businesses to redesign the strategies according to the needs and wants of the clients. The following are the three steps to take to put customer feedback to work within your company:
- Collect consistently
Collect ongoing, real-time feedback from customers. Additionally, make sure to provide clients with accessible ways to share their feedback. The company needs to collect all the raw data it can. Some of the data will be in-house like call center logs, emails to CS, NPS surveys or existing customer feedback programs. Some will be external, like indirect retailers or review websites. Keep in mind that a large portion of the external data is public.
- Apply the insights
Observe the insights from the data and decide whether you need to make changes, what features of the service or company need improvement and which aspect of your business you should give priority to. CFM is highly important because it allows companies to improve different operational sides of the business, like product management, customer support, sales and account management. Businesses that use CFM are able to lower customer churn and increase revenue from customers. This happens because keeping existing customers on board is much cheaper than finding new ones.
- Allow the feedback to drive business decisions
CFM is a long-term investment. Companies need to consistently measure and monitor customer satisfaction trends, NPS, product turnover, and customer churn. CFM allows companies to keep track of all these issues because it provides a global understanding of what customers want and need. By including customer feedback into the business’ core strategy, the company’s executives can identify customer trends, monitor possible risks and build processes for constant product or service improvement through the utilization of customer feedback insights. This will allow the company to stay on top of the market and gain a competitive edge.