In the digital age of connectivity and having the global market at your fingertips, growing and transforming your business requires a customer-driven strategy. This is good news because, in a customer-driven model, everyone wins! The customer receives the service they desire, and your business grows as a result.
What is a customer-centric business?
A customer-centric business places its customers at the heart of their business or service. They focus on providing a positive customer experience before, during, and after the sale. It’s more than good customer service; customer-centric businesses focus on creating excellent, memorable experiences at every level.
People are more selective about how they choose to spend their money now. Potential customers can compare products or services with the click of a button in real-time, across multiple devices. They can peruse social media platforms to see what other people are saying about the company. They tend to select businesses and brands that offer excellent customer service, treat their customers with respect, and seek to build long-term relationships with their audience.
Customer-centric strategies are not the same as the adage, “the customer is always right,” and it’s more than merely offering excellent customer service. Customer-centric companies structure their entire business model around the customer, believing their business cannot succeed without their customers (which is true). The business works to see the world through the customer’s eyes and understand what their audience wants and needs. These businesses emphasize building long-term relationships with their customers.
Marks of a customer-centric business
The culture and values of your business are essential to becoming customer-centric. There’s no point in having customer-centric processes unless the culture and values of your business are focused on your clients. Does your company foster a culture that emphasizes a customer-oriented outlook at every level and opportunity?
Customer-centric businesses genuinely believe the customer comes first. Best marketing practices and well-crafted user experiences are valuable, but you must have the ability to foster relationships with your clients at every level of your business. That is something that only comes with a culture of placing the customer at the centre of your business.
People remember the experience they had with you, not necessarily your product or service. Customer-centric businesses focus on anticipating their customer’s needs and wants. The entire culture of the company is oriented toward the customer. Every decision is influenced by the question, “will this help our customers?”
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and take the time to experience your own business from their point of view.
- Is the experience generic, or does it draw the customer in?
- Do you have the ability to learn about your customer and make personalized offers?
Do you capture the right data about your ideal customer? Capturing more information allows you to personalize offerings and anticipate your audience’s wants and needs. There are many interaction points where you can collect valuable information and feedback. Your business should be using as many communication channels as possible to build relationships and learn about your customers.
Customer-centric businesses make customers a part of their marketing message. Inbound marketing, customer advocacy, and other strategies transform customers into advocates and promoters of your brand.
Instead of reacting to incoming orders or requests, customer-centric businesses actively share helpful content, product suggestions, and informative insights on all the web and social media platforms.
Benefits of being customer-centric
More opportunities for growth and innovation:
Customer-centricity allows you to recognise and respond to unfulfilled customer needs that can lead to growth for your business. For example, if you discover the clients of your tourism agency struggle to enjoy the last day of their holiday because they don’t have a way to store luggage after checking out of their hotel, you might consider expanding to offer luggage concierge services. This is an added business opportunity for you, and your customers will be even more satisfied with your services!
Increased customer satisfaction:
When you anticipate and respond to your customer’s needs, you wow them and leave them satisfied. High customer satisfaction means they are more likely to become a loyal customer and tell their friends about you as well. Companies that do not make their customers the top priority risk losing them to competitors who offer similar services or products but have better customer care.
Small businesses have a distinct advantage over larger companies when it comes to being customer-centric. Small businesses can shift culture and make structural adjustments easier than big companies. Small businesses also tend to have fewer customers so they can give better, more personalized customer service and create stronger relationships with their clients.
Becoming a customer-centric business takes time. It can be a complicated process, but even small changes can bring significant benefits to your business and your customers.