Today's customers are in more control and more empowered than ever over businesses than ever before. The needs and expectations of customers determine who they shop with, how they shop, and where transactions are performed - offline, online, or both. Undoubtedly, customers today dictate how organisations shape their sales funnels, marketing efforts, customer experience, and much more.
Now comes the interesting part - it is not always easy to build a customer-centric organisation that puts customers first and foremost in every decision. Being a customer-centric organisation also doesn't come naturally. However, your organisation will have a positive, direct, and significant impact on its bottom line if it succeeds.
What is a Customer-Centric Company?
Being customer-centric is all about providing excellent customer experiences throughout the stages of awareness, before and after the conclusion of sales. In other words, it means emphasising on a series of business aspects - from product development and support to sales and marketing while prioritising the long-term success and satisfaction of customers over short-term business goals.
Consider all the times you have received under-par services from organisations that have failed to deliver positive customer experience:
The cable company you contacted thrice for poor signal reception and still no-showed in the five-hour time window you took off from work so your children can watch their favourite shows.
The airline that overcharged you when you had to make changes to your travel plans because of a personal emergency.
Did you feel valued as a human being and customer with plans, needs, a budget, and a life that's already complicated enough?
Clearly, not every organisation is keen to follow a customer-centric approach. And despite everything it may sound like, there's no point to judge. However, it is also true that customer-centricity is the most powerful way for every organisation to stand out from the competition.
Why Being Customer-Centric Is Important?
Statistics prove that delivering great customer experience is critical to the success of every organisation in today's tech-savvy world.
95 percent of leaders believe delivering good customer service experiences is their top strategic priority.
Companies that deliver exceptional customer experiences clearly outperform their competition by as much as 80 percent.
66 percent of customers believe customer service to be a dealbreaker when purchasing something.
Seven out of 10 U.S. consumers prefer to spend more money to do business with an organisation that delivers great service.
Organisations increase their profit by more than 25 percent by increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent.
U.S. consumers are ready to spend 17 percent more to do business with organisations that deliver excellent service.
All in all, the return on investment of creating exceptional customer experiences more than pays for itself. And the best part is that customers are not the only beneficiaries of building a customer-centric company. It also empowers employees to give their best and make informed decisions. Thus, customer-centricity is a great way to build a powerful company culture as well as a growth strategy.
Best Practices To Become A Customer-Centric Organisation
One of the biggest advantages of transforming your organisation into a customer-centric organisation to anticipate the needs and expectations of customers and delight them with quality and a variety of products and services. It's no surprise that some of the most popular and successful organisations like Apple have cemented their place by revolving all their strategies around customer-centricity.
Hire for customer success: Organisations like Amazon and Zappos are perfect examples of brands that have spent years creating a happy and pleasant customer-centric culture. In fact, Zappos is well-known to fire employees who don't fit within its culture around the customer and their needs.
Employees are at the forefront of business operations and shape many of the delightful experiences of an organisation with its customers. Irrespective of the role, organisations should hire talent that understands what exactly the customer needs and have the potential to develop ideas targeted to delight them. In other words, prospective employees should firmly believe in bringing exceptional value to customers rather than just sit in the office for 8-9 hours.
Connect company culture to customer outcomes: A customer-centricity strategy will motivate employees if the organisation can link actions to results. Furthermore, organisations should make a sincere effort to improve the experience of their customers through research emphasising on understanding customers, both collectively and on an individual basis.
Democratise customer data: One of the biggest advantages of data democratisation is that it allows everyone has access to data that catapults organisations to reach new performance heights if done right.
The ability to access and interpret data instantly translates into faster decision-making that, in turn, translates into more agile teams. If this is not all, it empowers employees at levels of responsibility and ownership to leverage the data in their decision-making. By doing this, it creates and adds more data-driven team members.
Put relationships ahead of everything else: Gone are the days when customers were treated just as numbers meant to be measured and analysed in revenue performance reports. They are important people that need to be given special treatment. With a customer-centric strategy in place, organisations can predict and create probable experiences customers are more likely to share and appreciate.
A CRM system like Microsoft Dynamics can make your organisation more customer-centric by automating routine tasks, delivering fast response to customers, and improving customer experience while helping your organisation benefit from accurate insights to sustain business growth.
To conclude, organisations today are proactively reacting to customer expectations in different ways and exploring the value-driven concept of being more customer-centric. Any organisation that still operates with a lack of customer knowledge, siloed data, and a structure that still prioritises revenue generation over exceeding the expectations and needs of its customers has a long way to go because survival and prosperity today depend on the opposite.
Find out how C.I.G Consultants can guide you on the right path on your quest to becoming a customer-centric organisation.