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What is Customer-Centricity?
Customer-centricity is a business strategy that focuses on putting the customer first and at the center of your operations in order to provide a positive experience and foster long-term relationships. Check out our blog on how to add value to the customers.
When you put your customer at the center of your business and combine it with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), you collect a wealth of data that provides you with a complete 360-degree view of the customer. This information can then be used to improve your customers’ experience.
As an example:
Customer data can be used to better understand purchasing behavior, interests, and engagement.
You can spot opportunities to develop products, services, and promotions for your most loyal customers.
Customer lifetime value can be used to segment customers based on top spenders.
Companies that prioritize their customers can provide a positive customer experience throughout their journey. Companies must undergo a massive shift in their organizational structure and culture to achieve this.
Customer Centricity encourages loyalty
Customer centricity is important since it encourages loyalty. Customer loyalty is haven. It makes business nirvana possible. Loyalty is important since it leads to positive business outcomes. Customer testimonials and NPS scores are essential since they affect business longevity. NPS serves as a benchmark for involving your workforce in your customer experience programme.
Customer-centricity is important for a business because it drives customers down the sales funnel. Understanding a potential buyer’s wants and needs is the first step in becoming customer-centric. For example, using AI to predict and recommend which channels customers are most likely to engage with, and then purchasing ad space accordingly. Understanding the buyer’s journey is critical for success in this endeavor. Another method is to properly segment consumers. While you can’t please everyone, conducting research and developing strategies based on different customer groups can ensure that the greatest number of customers have a positive experience.
There are four strategic reasons why businesses should strive to be customer-centric and ensure that customers are at the center of all decisions:
Clarity: According to over 1,500 global CEOs, complexity is the most difficult challenge they face. However, less than half of these CEOs are prepared for change, citing a lack of customer insight as their main shortcoming. A coherent strategy necessitates clear direction. Only customers can provide answers by understanding their current and future needs.
Design and development: Anticipating what customers need before they realize they need it is the holy grail of customer-centric strategy. Branding’s purpose in a world of abundant choice is to guide consumers through a bewildering array of alternatives. True innovation has the potential to be the most powerful differentiator of all. With a customer-centric approach, product development and design will be more in tune with customer needs, allowing for long-term competitive advantage through consistent innovation.
Sales and marketing: Organizations are using customer insights to improve the timing and positioning of their marketing. Businesses can now predict customer needs by identifying patterns in their behavior and tailoring brand communication, advertising, and promotions to when buyers are most receptive. Other forms of participation may also allow for spontaneous and viral responses. The best advertising comes from empowered audiences, not hired ad agencies and other marketing partners.
Profitability: At the end of the day, businesses are not charities; they exist to make as much money as possible. Leaders can now identify micro-markets within previously well-defined customer segments using data analysis and big data. Leaders can better align resources to maximize business and brand opportunities by identifying customers who matter the most in terms of dollar value and propensity to renew. Boardrooms must fully embrace customer-centricity and prioritize customers in all strategic decisions such as setting business goals, focusing on options, and allocating adequate resources. These efforts will result in increased revenue and profitability as leading key performance indicators.
Customers are not just numbers
When you recall the key concept of customer-centricity: Customers are individuals, not numbers, building loyalty and generating business results becomes a lot easier. Everything we do is driven by our desire to understand our consumers as people, from the culture we create to the experiences we offer both online and offline, to the structure we operate under and the strategies we develop.
Structure and saying no to silos are two aspects of customer-centricity.
The Parable of the blind men and the elephant
A group of blind men heard that an unusual animal known as an elephant had been brought to town, but they had no idea what it looked like. “We must investigate and know it by touch, which we are capable,” they stated out of curiosity.
So they went in search of it, and when they did, they touched it.
• The first person to touch the trunk exclaimed, “This being is like a thick serpent.”
• The elephant appeared to be a fan to someone whose hand touched the ear.
• A third individual, whose hand was on the elephant’s leg, said, “The elephant is like a tree trunk.”
• “Elephant is a wall,” exclaimed the blind guy who placed his hand on its side.
Organizational structures and silos
Take a look at the Corporate Org Chart and the various research silos that may be found inside it.
Why might this standard organizational structure be problematic? When it comes to the question “Who is our customer?” it can be a major issue. ”
• If you ask the market researcher, you might only get one answer.
• If you ask the web analyst, you can get a different response.
• If you ask a UX researcher, you can get a different definition.
Isn’t this starting to sound like the fable of the Blind Men and the Elephant?
What are the roadblocks to becoming a customer-centric organization?
During the late 1990s economic downturn, customers became more selective in which brands they chose to spend their money with, resulting in a power shift between brand and customer.
The winning brands were those that treated their customers with respect, provided excellent service, and established long-term relationships with them.
During the same time period, another game changer occurred: social media. Social media marketing (and, by extension, social selling) altered how customers interacted with brands and became an important part of the customer journey.
According to a recent Global Web Index report, 41 percent of social media users learn about new brands or products through social media ads, recommendations, or updates on brand pages (an increase from 32 percent in 2017); 45 percent of consumers use social networks to research brands (a 5 points increase since 2017).
Only in the United States, 83 percent of online shoppers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts when making purchases. Social media is just one of many digital channels that are altering the relationship between businesses and their customers.
According to research, companies that are struggling to become customer-centric are unable to share customer information across departments and lack an aligned culture centered on the customer’s needs.
What are the best practices for turning your company into a customer-centric brand?
Culture – The first step toward customer-centricity is to foster a culture in which customers are viewed as heroes. Here are the greatest core values of customer-centricity:
WOW Your Customers With Service
Accept and Promote Change
Make a little weirdness and have some fun.
Be bold, inventive, and open-minded.
Continue to learn and grow.
Communication allows you to build open and honest relationships.
Create a positive team and family atmosphere
With less, you can accomplish more.
Be enthusiastic and determined.
Here are some simple steps to help you turn your customers into heroes:
Identify and articulate the core values of your company or team.
Involve all employees or team members in the process – collect ideas first, then feedback.
Put your core values into action, not just as a poster on the wall.
Curiosity – To begin, customer curiosity can be clearly and usefully defined as the continuous pursuit of understanding who is purchasing the company’s products and services, as well as when, where, how, and why they are purchasing and consuming them. (Also valuable is knowing who isn’t buying them and when, where, and how existing purchasers aren’t using them when they could be.)
Such a definition is far more actionable than centricity definitions like “putting the customer at the center of everything we do.” Because centricity is ambiguous, it can only be measured indirectly through outcomes. However, because curiosity leads to increased knowledge and understanding of customers, a variety of measures can be implemented.
To begin, standard data measures cover the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of customer data – the foundation of customer curiosity that all information on customers is correct and up to date. At a higher level, it can be measured in terms of the number of valuable and actionable new insights gained during a given time period. There will be some subjectivity in determining what is new, actionable, and valuable, but given that qualitative assessments are the stock in trade for marketing executives, reaching consensus on such judgments should be easy.
Here are the steps to understand your customers:
Begin with the business goals or key questions (Example: Personalization is a priority for us)
Convert them into research questions (Example: If personalization is important for business, do we know if our customers believe their experience is personalized to them?)
Match questions to qualitative and quantitative research techniques (Example: Add a question to a Voice of the Customer survey)
Structure – The organization is structured around individuals and roles in a traditional setting framed by an organizational chart. Without having to scrap the entire organizational chart, you can start saying no to silos by taking a few small steps. It is about increasing collaboration and decreasing competition among silos. In addition to ensuring that everyone has some skin in the game.
Here are the starter ideas to embrace self-organization:
Determine all key stakeholders who interact with customers.
Create a Customer Council that is cross-functional.
Gather as a group to identify key customer segments.
Share business goals with the entire group.
Share existing knowledge with the entire group.
Share any information gaps with the entire group.
As a group, develop research questions and methods.
Budget sharing to maximize research impact.
Share your findings with the entire group.
Strategy – Strategy and linking business priorities to customer needs are the final steps toward customer-centricity. That starts with not treating all customers the same, because there are distinct differences between segments, and those segments may differ in value to your company.
Determine those customers using data science and direct customer feedback. There is one key point: All customers should expect excellent customer service and digital ease of use. You go above and beyond to exceed the expectations of your Most Valuable Customers (MVC); for everyone else, meeting expectations is sufficient.
Here are a few steps to getting started with connecting your customer segments to your business strategy:
Talk to your customers.
Consolidate your data into a single location. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you could even use something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet to connect all of the customer dots.
Begin by performing a simple data analysis. To begin, descriptive statistics are used to make sense of data.
Share the insights across silos.