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All businesses have “customers” and they offer goods and services to fill a need for their customers. So in theory, all companies should be customer centric. But as businesses grow (and hopefully margins with them), shortcuts can undermine the customer-centric mission they set out to cultivate.
And when 62% of customers are switching to a competitor because they offer better customer service, taking on a customer-centered approach to customer service is a matter of necessity, not luxury.
So let’s look at what being customer centric entails and some examples of companies that get it right.
How to be customer centric?
While this might seem obvious, adopting a customer-centric approach comes down to one very important thing: putting the customer first.
So how do you do this?
When you make any kind of business decision – be it marketing, branding, products and service, distribution, or something else – you have to understand the impact that decision will have on the customer. Although the decision might bring costs down, what is it doing for the customer experience?
When you start looking at your business through a customer-centric frame, you’re ensuring that all employees spend their time maximizing value to their customers.
Below are some customer-centric strategies you should be utilizing today.
- Customer-centric goal outcomes – Companies that are truly working under a customer-centric frame will create goals and OKRs that line up with their customer outcomes.
- Customer-related data and insights – CRMs and other customer-related solutions are a goldmine for data and insights. Support teams should be utilizing those insights to learn more about their customers and their needs.
- Customer-centric company culture – Your company culture, value, and guidelines should have some parts of them dedicated to the customer experience.
- Customer feedback – Surveys, questionnaires, and feedback pages are great ways to show your customers that you care while gaining valuable insights on the customer experience.
- A customer journey roadmap – Customer journey roadmaps provide a visual to help support teams understand exactly what a customer goes through when they’re trying to make a purchase or solve an issue.
- Customer health monitoring mechanism – The onus is on support teams to provide some kind of mechanism to measure their customer health score. This could include customer duration, point of contact information, feedback, and number of users and orders.
The benefits of customer-centricity
While it might not seem like the most profitable approach to running your business, customer-centricity can actually be the variable that creates a life-long customer or ends up turning your customers away. In fact, almost 70% of customers told Gladly that they’d be willing to pay more for a product that has a good customer service track record.
Below are some of the key benefits to customer-centricity.
- Happy customers are life-long and returning customers. Customer-centricity is all about building loyalty, trust, and retention by showing customers that you’re there for them.
- Your business will grow if you take on a customer-centric approach. Retaining customers and ensuring your customers have an excellent experience with your services will lead to growth in the long-run.
- Yes, customers prefer being treated like people as opposed to tickets, but employees prefer this also. When employees can focus on the human aspect of customer service, you have happy agents as well as happy customers.
- With customer centricity, it should be said that profit and revenue are not at the forefront of business decisions. Ideally there is a balance, but true customer-centric decision-making puts the customer needs ahead of the businesses. This takes the saying “the customer is always right” to another level.
Business Centric Companies
Forbes culled together a list of the 100 of the most customer-centric companies, highlighting that 85% of enterprise decision-makers say that if they don’t make significant digital transformations toward a customer-centric approach, they’re going to start losing out to the competition within two years.
Below are a few of those companies and what you can learn from them.
- Wegmans – One of the country’s most beloved super markets, Wegman puts a lot of time into their employee happiness. Happy, engaged employees mean they like their job and their attitude rubs off on the customer
- Glossier – Glossier Integrate their customer service representatives with their marketing, which allows them to provide valuable customer feedback into the marketing and branding strategies.
- Discover – Discover is a great example of how your technology can bring you closer to your customers. With the help of AI, Discover has created a system that allows them to predict when customers need financial help.
- DHL – Happy employees means happy customers. DHL does this by focusing on the company culture, which translates well to the customer.
- Slack – A constant customer experience feedback loop, Slack utilizes the power of AI and customization to keep their customers (which happens to be other businesses ) happy.
Gladly puts the customer at the center of the customer service experience
It’s not called “customer” service for no reason, and while several other companies and customer service teams are focused on driving costs down and cutting corners, Gladly is making sure that you’re creating happy, life-long customers that will blow away the competition.
Gladly’s model makes it easier for your agents to engage with customers anytime, anywhere. Place the customer at the center of the service experience, and radically personalize your organization with Gladly today.