Bruce Ernst have said, “Your website isn’t the center of your universe. Your Facebook page isn’t the center of your universe. Your mobile app isn’t the center of your universe. The customer is the center of your universe” and it applies to every organization out there. Business organization these days forget that their service shouldn’t be perfect or world class, it just needs to want their customer wants it to be. Customer expectations and behaviours have changed dramatically over the past decade and organization should change accordingly to satisfy their customer base.
Even Jeff Bezos, Founder/CEO, Amazon have said, the most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. In fact, bright local suggests that Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren’t. which is why customer centricity should be embedded very well into your organization’s very DNA.
What is customer centricity?
In rather simple terms, customer centricity is the ability of people in an organization to understand customers’ situations, perceptions as well as expectations and as Kate Zabriskie said, “The customer’s perception is our reality.”
There are only a few organizations who are able to embed their business with customer centricity. It is often that well-intentioned strategy is diluted by operational constraints (whether real or perceived) and a loss of focus to the real deal(customers).
Why is it important to embed your organization’s very DNA with customer’s centricity?
Well for starters, in challenges like increased regulatory pressure, consolidation, cost pressures, rapidly shifting consumer trends a customer centric focus can play an instrumental role in staying a step ahead of the competition. It can help grow revenues, improve efficiency, and drive performance. According to Qualtrics, companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%. If you are able to embed customer centricity in your organisation it can also lead to sustainable profitability.
According to a Microsoft report, 77% customers view brands more favourably if they seek out and apply customer feedback. A salesforce report also shows that 88% of consumers will switch to a competitor after three or fewer bad experiences. Hence, customer’s centricity should be embedded in the very culture of your organization for your customers to love you. Here are areas that you can consider when embedding the customer at the heart of your organisation.
- Know your customers and understand their needs.
According to salesforce, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations and 52% of customers expect offers to always be personalized which is why tailored made services are always loved by consumers. It’s important for your organization to analyse data related to your customers and gain deep insight into the varying needs of their different customer segments and accordingly frame service requirements for each segment.
- Design a personalized experience.
It’s important that you understand what the customer’s journey looks like across the product lifecycle and then design an experience which is worthwhile for them. In fact, Deconstructing Delight report – Fresh works says that 80% of buyers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized customer experiences and 63% of customers expect brands to consider their personal values when communicating.
- Empowering your employees.
It’s simple when you empower your employees, you encourage them to work better and improve customer experience. In fact, empowering the frontline to make decisions will serve to improve the spectator experience at the point issues arise. An Zendesk study shows that, great client support yields long-lasting results, too. 24% of consumers keep doing business with vendors for two or more years after a positive encounter.
- Use of customer feedback for improvements.
According to Harris Interactive, 79% of consumers who used online feedback to complain about a poor customer experience were ignored and that’s not a good way for organizations to function. To embed customer centricity in your organization’s core, it’s important to find and define a customer insight and feedback strategy that allows you to identify and prioritise customer feedback from social media channels within hours. This will allow you to make operational changes in near real-time.
- A leadership that is customer focused.
According to Genesis, 59% of companies with a CEO who is involved in customer experience report higher revenue growth, compared to just 40% of companies without a customer-focused CEO reporting growth. A clear leadership from the top that articulates what customer-centricity means to your business, and what it looks like in practice, is critical to creating a customer-centric organisation.
The path towards becoming a truly customer centric organisation is both complex and long but that should not discourage as organization as the benefits are enormous. Customer centricity will often lead to an efficient platform for achieving long-term
customer value. Just like what Lisa Masiello said, “Happy customers are your biggest advocates and can become your most successful sales team”. In fact according to Deloitte, Customers tell an average of nine people about a positive experience with a brand, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience. Hence, customer Service Leaders need to be smart about how to approach customer-centric change to ensure the greatest return on investment.