It is common for companies of all sizes and segments to claim they run a customer-focused business. But how can they truly ensure a customer-centric culture?
What is a customer-centric business?
Being customer-centric literally means putting the customer at the heart of the brand’s strategy. Companies need to gather detailed information about their target audience by listening, asking questions, and taking client opinions and wishes into account.
That process enables customers to play a part in the decisions that affect their experience.
From another perspective, being customer-centric is a strategy that makes use of the customer’s voice to shape their own experience with the company (according to their own preferences). The result is more loyal customers.
However, this model is not as objective and systematic as it sounds, as it’s difficult to put everything we know about the customer in a formal document to build our strategic plan.
Before turning into procedures and influencing processes, customer-centric is a culture that enables the customer’s voice to be heard, valued, and taken into account. For that to happen, it is important to pay attention to each employee and be aware of every touchpoint between the consumer and the brand.
The importance of a customer-centric culture
It’s no secret that customers have more buying choices than ever before, so brands must do more to attract them and make them loyal. In addition to this basic aspect, businesses need to take into consideration that because of digital transformation, customers are now more connected, with access to a great deal of information. They also often have little time on their hands.
The ubiquity of smartphones has accelerated the pace of life and offered more autonomy to users. Self-service is now a fundamental resource, and consumers expect answers in just a few clicks.
Consequently, companies must not wait for their customers’ reactions; they need to act ahead of time. They must organize themselves to understand how consumers behave and what they expect.
Embracing a customer-centric culture in your business
First, acknowledge the importance of people when it comes to giving customers a voice. Employees also need to put the customer first when carrying out tasks.
Adopt CX tools
CX strategy and improvising do not belong together. Companies must be structured and use the right tools to operate in a customer-centric mode, or they will end up delivering partial or limited solutions. These tools need to be developed based on a humanized approach, as well as facilitate and stimulate customer interaction and feedback. This will enable the brand’s most loyal and most engaged customers to also take in the culture, motivating them to express themselves once they realize they are being heard.
Create an onboarding process
The purpose of the onboarding process is to ensure new employees assimilate the organizational culture and are properly welcomed, guided, and trained. For the customer-centric business, this is important to ensure internal culture is not compromised or misunderstood during the adaptation period. The idea is that customers should never feel that they are not a priority.
Survey your target audience regularly
Measuring customer satisfaction and what determines it depends on surveys. In addition to identifying needs, strengths, and weaknesses, they are an important indicator of success of a customer-centric strategy.
Surveys also need to collect detailed qualitative data, looking into the key points of customer relationship and their perception of value. After all, feedback and qualitative analyses also play a part in the interaction between the customer and the brand, as they can reveal insights and weaknesses to address.
Research, a systematic collection of data, and indicators enable and facilitate decision-making based on what they reveal about customer desires. Remember how important it is to use the right tools: they are essential to ensure accurate, reliable, and useful data in a customer-centric strategy.
Stay ahead of your customers’ needs
This is fundamental. Being customer-centric is not just reacting to a customer’s complaint. Friction points need to be solved, obviously, but the strategy is more about preventing and eliminating them.
Creating a customer-centric culture depends on both learning about it and implementing it well. Any topic that involves people and their complex behaviors needs dedication, which requires objective and subjective analyses that require experience, sensitivity, engagement, and the right facilitation tools.