You might notice that the most successful companies are customer-centric.
Companies can’t afford to slip up when it comes to customer support in this era. Offend a client, and you will potentially get your name plastered and pulled into the dirt all over social media. Delight a client for all the right reasons, and you might find your newest brand ambassador.
What is a customer-centric culture?
When your company sees the customer experience as totally essential to what you do, you have a customer-centric culture. Customer satisfaction gives the company value, forms internal and external cooperation, and motivates action.
“The structure follows strategy,” as Alfred Chandler said. Your business revolves around the achievement of this aim by making customer satisfaction the core. The ability to build the best consumer experience is motivated by companies with a customer-centric culture. This goes well beyond merely providing excellent service to customers.
Each touchpoint has the best interest of the consumer at heart, from recognition through to post-purchase.
Why is customer-centricity important?
Data from a variety of studies show that customer-centricity improves financial performance and provides competitive advantage:
- Seven out of 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers excellent service
- Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increase in profits by more than 25%
- It is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one
- U.S. consumers are willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service
The ROI of creating an outstanding customer experience more than pays for itself.
Consumers are not the only beneficiaries; creating a customer-centric enterprise empowers employees to make smart choices. Customer centricity is both a strategy for success and a way to create a robust organizational culture.
Spread a customer-centric culture across departments
The best customer-centric brands have made customers the cornerstone of their company culture. A customer-centric culture requires cross-team commitment and an understanding from every person in your company of the part they play in customer satisfaction.
The first thing to know is that the bread and butter of any profitable customer-centric enterprise is enthusiasm. When you instil a sense of confidence and love for customer service into every part of what you do, the staff will take that into their everyday life with them.
Make it clear that the clients make every team successful, from customer service to sales to marketing to manufacturing to the product. Every single department has a customer contact point. So, they all have a hand in contributing to customer satisfaction.
Secondly, put the client’s interests ahead of all else. That’s not to suggest that you have to follow the “customer’s always right” mindset, but to address customer concerns, you can predict their desires and build items.
Lastly, it would help if you concentrated on developing long-lasting relationships with your clients. That includes communicating with them, always keeping up with them and thanking them for their support everywhere they are on social media. Establish a plan for consumer engagement and continue to review input from consumers. It sets you away from the competition as you place your clients at the forefront of everything you do, from product creation to marketing campaigns.
Reward Employees for Customer Satisfaction
Provide an ideal consumer experience to become a customer-centric company. It would help if you had a driven workforce that sees personal benefits in customer satisfaction for this to materialize.
Smart companies achieve this by linking employee growth and incentives with customer satisfaction. They reward employees who go the extra mile in resolving customer issues or create something that makes the lives of the end-users easier.
While measuring customer satisfaction is a relatively new concept, a few methods will help you measure it. It can also be made part of the employee success improvement plan in this manner.
If employees have personal preferences in customer loyalty, their reasoning process switches entirely. This creates a corporate atmosphere where everybody aims to satisfy the customer and where best performers are not decided exclusively by the customer.
Celebrate Customer Success
Unlike traditional organizations, customer-centric firms’ interaction with their customers does not end with service/product distribution. When clients find it hard to get full-service value, they rejoice when their clients find success and lend a helping hand.
If a customer finds extra value from your services, use it as a success story to motivate your employees. Make it an experience, thank the people involved and praise them for their hard work in bringing service to the client.
For example, when a TradeKey.com service employee was able to help a client effectively complete a significant business transaction, the entire team involved in providing value to this customer was praised for their achievements and remembered.
Try to build an atmosphere in your market where anything from the acquiring and onboarding customers to retention and renewal is celebrated as events.
Pay attention to culture fit when hiring
Usually, leaders and business managers recruit for hard skills and expertise. If you have an open role for a marketing manager, you would generally search for someone who knows how to use the organization’s CRM platform and who has demonstrated experience running marketing campaigns.
But here’s the thing: it’s equally important to look out for soft skills if you want to create a customer-centric community. This includes connecting effectively, being a team player, taking the initiative, and any other characteristics that allow an individual to work with the team efficiently.
You can still show a new employee how to use the CRM system at the end of the day, but it’s not easy to get them to develop their leadership abilities or alter those facets of their personality. Bear that in mind!
Allow free access to customer insights
Most businesses are still operating in silos as of today. For example, the company’s marketing and sales departments may have access to consumer research and insights, but the finance team and the HR team may have little clue that this information exists.
When your employees may not have a clear understanding of your clients, it makes it impossible for them to position themselves in the shoes of your client. That is why it is vital to access the related data and information to all the team members.
Adobe Systems, which has recently developed a consumer and employee engagement unit to promote consumers’ awareness, is one organization leading the way. That’s not all; Adobe has also set up “listening stations” online and offline where staff can go and listen to client calls. This makes it possible for workers to get more acquainted with their clients regardless of which department they are in and appreciate where they come from.
Actively solicit customer feedback
Your consumers don’t care about your product or service all that much, as Kathy Sierra explains in Making Users Awesome. They care about what it makes them do. In the sense of their work, your job is to help clients succeed.
In his article Explaining Customer Centricity With a Diagram, CX specialist Don Peppers states: “Assuming that you start with a quality product and service, being customer-centered means understanding the point of view of the customer and respecting the customer’s interest.”
An intrinsic aspect of being customer-centric is responding to consumers. When you don’t have a mechanism to gather customer reviews periodically, it’s impossible to tell how you can maximize the customer experience.
You’ll find that clients will help you create a product that is enjoyed by other clients. A genuinely customer-centric enterprise can take advantage of the fact that their buyers already know what they want, while they will not single-handedly direct your product into creativity.
It is both difficult and long to progress into becoming a fully customer-centric company, but this should not put off when even the slightest improvements in policies and procedures provide a significant benefit on both staff and the customer.
To unleash the full power of customer value, the Holy Grail is a customer-centric organization. Place yourself in the consumer’s shoes and mitigate the work of consumers to maximize customer satisfaction.