Five Strategies to Become More Customer-Centric
By Chris Mandzufas
It may not be the first strategy that comes to mind when considering transformational business growth opportunities, however becoming a customer-centric business can be a powerful strategy for growth, to both attract new customers and retain existing valued customers. A customer-centric approach can be an effective differentiator for businesses looking for an edge over the competition.
Know your customer
I’d like to think that all businesses strive to achieve this, and it seems so simple, however in reality not all succeed at it. To be successful as a customer-centric business, you need to really know your customer. That is, to understand your customers and how they engage with your business. This goes beyond the marketing fundamentals of the demographics and sociographics of who your customers are, to developing a deeper understanding of what they like, how they buy and use your products and services as well as how they engage with your business, including their friction points in working with you. Friction points are the areas within the business or way in which a customer engages with the business or product that causes frustration, delays or a negative impression.
Becoming more customer-centric
Being customer-centric is about putting the customer at the centre of your operation. How many of the following points does your business do really well?
1. Provide convenience for your customers
More and more, customers are looking for convenience and often it is at the top of their priority list. Customers want to be able to get the information and service they need on their schedule, not the business’ schedule. Customer-centric businesses will appreciate the importance of convenience to their customers and go out of their way to make customers’ lives easier, even if it means more work for the business.
Consider a consumer product company which requires a customer to send back a faulty product for replacement or repair. This can be time-consuming and costly for the customer. A more customer-centric approach would be for the business to arrange collection of the faulty product, at no cost and minimal effort to the customer. This may be more difficult and costly for the business, but it makes the customers’ lives easier.
2. Offer personalisation
Customers expect high levels of personalisation and a unique experience. We have become accustomed to it from big companies like Amazon and Netflix and now expect greater personalisation across more of our experiences. Simply seeing our own name at the top of an email isn’t enough. Truly personalised experiences are at the heart of customer-centricity and customer-centric businesses will work to create truly personalised experiences tailored to their customers’ needs, wants and behaviours.
3. Use customer data
Effective personalisation requires the capture, tracking and analysis of customer data to be able to create an accurate picture of customers. Data allows a business to understand and meet customers’ needs. This in turn allows a business to proactively recommend products and services and to proactively predict what a customer will want and need.
A simple example is an FMCG company such as a supermarket, which tracks a customer’s purchase history, can prompt the customer with a list of the customer’s most popular purchases and recommend items which they have previously purchased and may now need again.
4. Lead from the top
Customer-centric businesses have leaders who understand that customers should be at the forefront of operations and proactively work to create a customer-centric culture. The most customer-centric leaders will set the example to embed a customer focus into all business operations and decision-making.
5. Innovate and remain agile
The recent pandemic years have taught us the importance of agility. As customer needs and trends shift and change, customer-centric businesses will adapt along with customer needs and swiftly change direction to offer their customers what they need and want. Businesses that are truly focused on customers aim for continual innovation, to keep bringing the best products and services to their clients and continue meeting their needs and wants.
When a business is truly customer-centric, every decision and action is made with the customer in mind. Customer-centricity can be a powerful strategy for not only delivering an exceptional customer experience, keeping customers satisfied and coming back to your business year after year, but it can also be an effective differentiator, to set your business apart from the competition and to effectively attract new customers and grow.
If you are seeking strategic advice or support with your business growth strategy, contact us today to learn how we can assist your business.