In our immediate need for personal safety and business continuity from the Corona Virus Epidemic I felt this was even more appropriate than ever before.
“There is only one boss: the customer. And they can fire everyone in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending their money somewhere else.”
The founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton, has explained the need for developing a customer-centric business very neatly.
In the era of digital transformation, enhancing the customer experience has become a top priority for all forward-thinking businesses. Customer-centric organizations put the customer at the heart of everything the business does. It’s not only in public-facing roles- but throughout the company, all the processes should be geared towards the customer. Constructing a model that operates around the needs of your customers highlights the value they add to the institution. As research by Deloitte suggests, a customer-centric business is 60% more profitable than those who focus on processes or products first.
In my most recent experience (whilst self-isolating!) my local hardware store demonstrated what I believe was one of the best examples of customer-centric business by ringing around his most valued customers to see if they needed anything that he could deliver to their homes. His only problem now is he has no system to help him manage the backlog of orders and requests and is working around the clock to fulfil. However he will be valued as a supplier for many years to come and I have offered to help him with his systems once the lock down is over!
Below are some suggestions of how we can also take on a more customer centric approach and retain our valued client base.
What do you need to know about a customer-focused company?
Have you ever wondered what customer-centricity actually means?
Well, it’s not only about offering your customers great service it’s much more. It is a complete process of providing your customers with a great experience starting from the awareness stage to the purchasing process and obviously at the end, the post-purchase process. As the research suggests, customer-centricity is a strategy that has been a game-changer for long-term success. It’s a strategy where you need to put your customers at the core of your business.
After focusing on a customer-centric business process, it can be a great idea to combine your business with Customer Relationship Management software. CRM software can give you access to a wealth of data through which you can have a 360 view of the customer. You can use this data to offer your clients an enhanced experience.
- The customer data can help you in understanding the buying behavior. Apart from that, you can have a better knowledge of customer interests and engagement.
- With 360 views of customer data, you can track new opportunities and come up with products and services that actually suit your customer’s buying behavior.
The need to remain connected with the consumer and enhancing their experience with your brand is paramount. This means improving the whole offering based on the feedback of your customers’. This also means evolving your products and services based on the needs of your customers, how your product meets their requirements, and what can be added to make the product more appealing at that specific time.
What are the challenges you are likely to face?
The economic downturn, if it hasn’t hit you already, will make customers more selective about the brand they choose to spend their money on now and in the future. The social media marketing and social selling have already taken the market into a storm with smart phones holding the major portions of a customer journey. Now, customers can compare products and services across multiple platforms having a clearer overview in real-time. Many big names are into their toughest time struggling with these challenges. As the research suggests, the toughest challenge is the inability to share customer details across departments and be able to view the customer journey within your organization.
Most of the companies do not have all the elements to become customer-centric. The lack of value-generating tools to avail the 100% employee efficiency is something that has cost most organizations heavily. The ODOO management software and ODOO based Customer Relationship Management Software can aid you to overcome this issue.
Two Important factors to become a customer-centric organization
To become a customer-centric company, in the first place, you need to anticipate the actual customer needs and delight your customers with services or products they may or may not have thought about. An organization which focuses on becoming a customer-centric brand constantly works on creating processes, products, policies and most importantly, an in-house culture that is designed to support customers and enhance the customer experience.
To strengthen the positive work culture dedicated towards achieving higher customer satisfaction inside your organization you need to empower your team with tools that will include the following:
360 Access to Client Data– The whole team, be it sales, marketing, customer support, production, dispatch, or finance needs to have fast and proper access to a single data-driven insights of consumer behaviour and other information. What is sometimes referred to as the single truth.
Cross-platform Communication– The advancement of technology has empowered customers to be in the driving seat. Now, your customers can actually decide when and how to interact with you at the time of building a strong business relationship. If you don’t come up with the proper options they can easily find your replacement in your competitors.
So it’s quite evident that customer-centricity solely depends on knowing where your consumers are, it can be Facebook, Instagram or somewhere else, and communicating in different ways that resonate along with them. Something like a quick-to-respond customer support twitter account- this simple initiative can make you stand out and keep you ahead of your competitors.
Balance is the key!
The journey to becoming a customer-centric company is not a walk in the park. You have to put your consumer’s needs at the forefront of any business strategy. But that doesn’t mean you won’t focus on your products and services – it just means that they will become more relevant to your clients needs. Yes, your business must strike a proper balance between both of the approaches. Your focus area should be delivering high-value products that are going to make profits and providing such services that will keep your customers hooked.
And on a final note we must not forget our most valuable asset in all this, our people, implementing a cultural change will take time and patience but giving them the right tools and processes to help manage daily business will speed up that process.