You’ve most likely heard people repeat the ‘customer is king’ mantra in the past.
Well, there’s an obvious reason for this.
Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus enough on customers. Customer needs determine how, when, and where a business operates. If your customers prefer online shopping, you need an online presence; if they demand a great mobile experience, you simply deliver.
Customer-centricity has become the ‘new obsession’ that corporate frontrunners chase after. However, you'll still hear the same leaders say:
We’re focusing all our attention on our customers, but it still feels like we’re miles away from achieving our desired results
The reality is that there is a lot more to building a customer-centric culture than simply wearing the customer’s hat. This blog will shed light on the importance of customer-centricity and how your business can win more customers with the help of the right customer-centric strategy.
It’s time to put the customer back in the driver’s seat!
What is Customer-Centric?
Ask anyone what they think of the term ‘customer-centric’ and there is a good chance you would hear them say, “customer-centric means putting the customer at the center of every action a business undertakes”.
While this is true, there is still a lot more to it.
A business becomes customer-centric when it focuses on creating positive experiences for the customers at every stage of interaction. This means that greeting customers' support with a broad smile isn't enough anymore. Right from the CEO at the top, down to the interns, everyone must have an in-depth understanding of the customer’s needs and expectations.
Aaron Levie, CEO- Box explains this better, “the most customer-centric organizations can answer any question by deciding what’s best for the customer, without ever having to ask.”
Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at the importance of customer-centricity.
Why Is Customer-Centricity Important?
You don’t have to be a marketing genius to realize that customer expectations are going through the roof. It’s as clear as day.
Customers are sharing their best and worst purchase experiences more than ever before, and 81% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
Therefore, it is evident that the more you focus on the needs and desires of your customers, the more likely you are to create a pool of loyal customers who together make your business grow.
There’s usually several other brands that offer what you offer. However, by becoming a customer-centric organization, you can outpace your competitors and hit that 'sweet spot' of what customers are truly looking for.
6 Steps to Building a Customer-Centric Business Culture
#1. Know Your Customers Inside Out
Many people would advise that you must wear the customer's hat and start thinking like them. We would suggest otherwise- you never take the hat off in the first place. Getting into the head of your customer and understanding their perspective is an ongoing process.
The business that understands its customers better, is bound to rule the market.
You can start by doing thorough research about your target audience. You can ask yourself questions like:
- What makes our customers choose us over our competitors?
- Where do most of our customers find out about us?
- What support channels do my customers prefer?
- What devices do my customers use to buy from us?
The answers to the questions above will help you make highly customer-centric decisions. For instance, if a majority of your customers use their smartphones to buy from you, you would know how to capitalize on this situation by offering delightful mobile shopping experiences.
Pro Tip: Your website must be getting a variety of visitors or potential buyers. You can leverage a tool like Qualaroo to ask the right questions to such visitors and better understand the intent behind their visit.
#2. Reduce Customer Effort at Every Interaction
Do your customers often complain that they find it difficult to navigate through your online website? or do they feel it takes too much time to reach out to a live support agent?
The bottom line is that if a customer has to put too much effort at any stage of their interactions with your brand, that might as well be the last time they interact with you.
So how do you make your customer’s life easier at key touchpoints?
The answer is simple- by solving their problems even before they arise. Here are certain actions you can perform to reduce the customer effort significantly.
- Make online checkouts easy, convenient, and fast
- Train agents to respond quickly
- Reduce the time it takes to reach your support agents
- Prioritize First Call Resolution (FCR)
- Take customer feedback/suggestions and implement them
The possibility of reducing customer effort is endless and depends a lot on the business.
Pro Tip: A customer-focused Knowledge Base is a great way to help your customers find the answers to common questions by themselves. Besides being a liberating experience for customers, it can help you take the overwhelming load of support issues off your agents' shoulders.
#3. Share Customer Success Stories
If you adopt a bird’s eye view of the world, you would notice that every business out there is solving a problem. Be it your nearest hair salon or a software giant like Microsoft.
Now, when you share customer success stories, you give off the signal that your business always puts customer’s success before your own. Sharing success stories can be a turning point that makes a potential customer imagine himself in a happy customer's shoes and wants the same thing.
You can share success stories on your website or social media platforms featuring happy customers. Try to keep a passionate tone, use good-quality images, and highlight how your product/service helped your customer reach a particular milestone subtly. Avoid making such stories all about your business.
Pro Tip: When it comes to storytelling, don’t limit yourself to just words. This is the opportunity to shoot a compelling short video that allows your customer to play the lead role. Let your customer talk about his/her journey and share the wonders of your product to the world.
#4. Reward Your Loyal Customers
When your customers keep choosing you over your competitors, they deserve more than just your attention. They are worthy of some amazing rewards.
For instance, Starbucks attributes a majority of its additional revenue to its popular rewards program. Their deal is simple, customers earn star points every time they buy something and can later convert them for really delicious rewards like free coffee or lunch. Now, who wouldn't want that?
The idea behind rewards isn’t to simply please the customers, it shows that your brand cares and seeks to foster long-term relationships.
Pro Tip: Conducting loyalty programs might not be possible for every business. However, you can still remember your customers on their special occasions. For instance, in addition to personalized greetings, you can share special discount coupons or free goodies on a customer’s birthday.
#5. Offer Support that is Accessible, Fast & Personal
Customers today don’t just expect quick, seamless support interactions with brands; they demand them.
The modern customer is opinionated and does not shy away from sharing his experiences with a business and other customers. According to a recent study by Deloitte, customers tell an average of nine people about a positive experience with a brand, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience.
So, you must throw out the idea of offering 'average support' like yesterday's newspaper.
Irrespective of the support channels your business offers- live chat, email, phone, or a self-service portal, reaching out to your support team should be a breeze. Train agents to offer service that is not just fast but is backed by an empathetic and personalized tone in every message.
Pro Tip: A significant proportion of customers would share their issues/requests over email. You can leverage customer support software like the ProProfs Help Desk that is loaded with powerful features and settings. You can easily manage customer support tickets, increase agent collaboration, and delight your customers with instant support.
#6. Capture Customer Feedback & Take Action
As your biggest fans, your customers can help you make informed decisions such as deciding how you can improve your live support/offline support collection, or what new feature you can introduce in your product.
Everyone feels special when their opinion is valued.
You can share surveys or forms with your customers, or simply ask them to share their reviews on your website. Now, it is evident that most businesses that customers interact with today are hunting for their opinion. So, you need to avoid asking too many questions as it might hamper their experience and make sharing feedback less enjoyable.
Irrespective of the medium you use to collect customer feedback, it's your responsibility to take their advice to heart.
Pro Tip: Who said surveys have to be boring? You can use a survey tool like the ProProfs survey maker and share the perfect survey in a matter of minutes. Create attractive surveys anytime by choosing from over a 100+ ready to use survey templates.
Customer Centricity Leads To Business Success
The moment you start treating your customer’s problems as your own, you take the very first step to becoming a customer-centric brand. Now, you might ask, ‘why should I even bother about being customer-centric when my customers are happy anyways?’
Well, the example we are about to share will help you pause and see the long-term benefits.
When people think of Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, they often notice his monetary success.
‘Oh yeah, we know Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet. Great guy!’
But what he believes in is often overlooked.
As a leader, Jeff has always believed in the idea of empowering his customers. He declared early on that Amazon would not simply sell stuff but “help customers make wise purchase decisions.”
This notion soon became the new brand differentiator. Amazon was selling books initially, and customers could post their candid reviews online for others to see. By bringing more transparency to the buying process, Amazon soon created a loyal customer base and the rest is history.
Long story short- when you put power into the hands of your customers, they help you become the most powerful business.
Put Customers at the Heart of Your Business Culture
It is natural for your business to understand your products better than anyone else. But when you understand your customers better than any other business, that’s the real game-changer.
As discussed, it is evident that customer-centricity has huge business value. You need to step outside your business and look through the customers’ eyes to rise above the challenges that keep you up at night.
To focus better on your customers and resolve any issues they might be facing, you can use a robust customer support tool like ProProfs Help Desk. Simply track every customer communication and deliver delightful experiences.
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