Although much has been written about the benefits of customer-centricity, less clear is how to actually create a business culture that is truly consumer-centric. In theory, it could seem like a fairly straightforward process.
However, the steps needed to create a consumer centric company can be quite challenging. It is certainly not impossible since plenty of companies do it everyday.
But customer centricity requires careful planning and smart decision making about company objectives, employee training, and day-to-day processes. Every aspect of the business must center on and support the strategy.
The following are 3 crucial steps to creating an authentic customer centric business.
Step 1. Manage all aspects of the business to deliver customer centric service.
Begin by gathering data to perform deep market segmentation.
Once a company is able to identify who its customers are, separating those are most profitable from those who aren’t, it can better understand where to focus its attention, making customer ROIC (return on invested capital) a primary metric.
Only once this task is complete can a business begin the process of institutionalizing customer centricity, making customer segments the basic building blocks of the company rather than the product or service.
In other words, all business actions are developed around the customer, making customer-centricity a win-win: customers’ expectations are better understood and businesses better understand how to allocate resources.
Ultimately, customer centric businesses avoid the trap of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to doing business. Segmenting by behavioral habits, income, preferences, trends, etc. allows a business to develop a connection with customers that enables it to create relevant products or services.
Step 2. Promote customer-centricity in all employees.
Customer centricity starts with the customer’s needs and expectations. Therefore, it is necessary to align employee behaviors with the company’s desired customer experience.
There are several ways to help employees successfully deliver this experience:
- Empower employees to solve customer problems.
- Check in with employees to see if they are able to successfully articulate the desired customer experience.
- Create and share clear profiles of the most valued customers and their needs.
- Consider rewarding employees for meeting or exceeding expectations via recognition, compensation, or advancement.
If the goal is to put the customer’s needs first, then employees must be sufficiently motivated and enabled to do just that. By empowering customer-facing employees to deliver a superior experience, a company achieves a holistic customer centric culture, distinguishing them from the competition.
Step 3. Routinely survey customers to promote retention.
Routinely survey customers to find out what their current expectations are for the company’s products and services.
Make sure the company is at least meeting those expectations. If it isn’t, make adjustments based on collected feedback. If it is, the company should be in a position to enjoy the fruits of its labor and may want to consider trying to beat existing expectations for increased satisfaction.
Research shows that the more a business know about its customer, the better it is able to satisfy the customer’s needs and desires. Gathering thorough information about each customer makes it easier to sell to them, increasing the prospects of them becoming repeat customers.
Surveys are an effective way to emphasize customer retention. And, of course, its always easier and less expensive to retain existing customers than it is to find new ones. In addition, surveys demonstrate that a company is invested in its customers.
A valued customer base is more likely to spread positive worth of mouth, attracting new customers. By contrast, customers who feel ignored are more likely to jump ship, making it necessary for a business to attract even more new ones to just to break even.