(Art Credit: Andrea Hernandez)
One of the critical aspects of a company's success is customer experience. This is because providing a positive customer experience increases customer loyalty and higher profits.
A business can't hide from a negative customer experience with so many review sites and social media platforms, which affects customers when deciding whether to purchase. Regardless of your reviews, the end result is the same: the customer's experience has been amplified and significantly impacts your business.
According to research, 86%of customers are actually willing to pay more for a better experience. Hence, there's never been a better time to invest in your company's customer experience strategy.
But, what does it mean to be a customer-centric company? What steps can you take to incorporate a customer-centric mindset?
We've put together this post to help you understand what it means and to assist you in developing strategies to transform your brand.
What does 'customer centric' mean?
Customer-centricity is a strategy that prioritizes the customer in all decisions and actions. It's an approach in which every employee in the company is responsible for making consumers the most crucial job element.
It's when you're concentrating on meeting their specific requirements, improving the customer experience, and cultivating long-term relationships. In a sense, your customers are the head of your business.
When a company is customer-focused, it has designed all its policies and processes to provide customers with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To produce profit and acquire a competitive edge, such a culture requires constant effort to give the best customer experience at the moment of sale and after the sale.
Adopting a customer-centric approach and methods is critical to creating a successful and leading firm in any industry.
Why is customer-centric a must?
Providing your clients with the best experiences is no longer an option; it is now required. Your organization will never entirely create a positive customer experience until it embodies the concept of a customer-focused culture.
When your customers are given first attention in your company, you obtain a lot of benefits like:
- You understand your customers' needs and can fine-tune to develop products or services to meet those needs.
- Form meaningful relationships with your customers, which will improve their experience with your products or services.
- You can correctly assess and implement a strategy that keeps customers happy.
Take Slack, for example. Customer feedback was incorporated into the messaging app's strategy from its inception.
Slack made its first customer-centric change when it was up against the stiff competition in the niche and tried something no one else had tried. Since then, they've always made modifications to their product in response to user feedback, making it their top priority.
They also see to it that their customer care representatives deal with situations in a more humane manner, rather than simply tracking the number of tickets that have been resolved.
Customers are also frequently asked to leave reviews or appear in case study videos which helps strengthen reliability among other potential audiences.
This customer-centric behavior has contributed to the app's current user base of eight million people, three million of which are paying customers.
Strategies to provide a customer-centric experience
1. Focus on customer service
Customers always expect businesses to communicate with them and respond quickly across all platforms to better understand their needs and issues. It will increase the productivity of the company by implementing the requirements and providing answers to its problems.
Facilitating direct consumer engagement will aid in the development of various customer-centric strategies and a customer-centric culture within the company. The customer support team is always the most trusted asset of any firm when it comes to engagement and answering concerns.
This is why you should consider allocating significant resources to your support crew to provide the best possible service to your consumers. As a beginning point, you can consider live chat software, which is effective and the easiest method to get in touch with your audience.
Customer service is not seen as a cost of doing business by customer-centric businesses; instead, it is viewed as a revenue generator. Their support teams are the engine that propels the firm forward.
2. Actively grow your customer feedback
Customer feedback is the most valuable resource for any customer-centric organization. It reveals how your customers feel about your product or service and highlight areas for development.
Sending a feedback form in the form of a questionnaire immediately after addressing a customer's issue will help determine whether or not the answer you provided was adequate. Don't only ask for input when things aren't going well; it should be a habit.
However, simply collecting input is insufficient. You must also apply the information you've obtained to better your strategy and operations. Customer feedback demonstrates to customers that you value their opinions and listen to them. Which is the best thing that a company could do for them.
Even if they didn't lead your product toward innovation on their own, a truly customer-centric organization would make use of the reality that their customers often know what they want.
3. Build a strong company culture
A company's culture can be defined as shared values, goals, and practices among its employees. The sum of these elements influences how individuals feel about their jobs which impacts the organization's development in building a strong culture.
Companies must surround themselves with employees that believe in providing excellent service to their clients. To do this, you may want to hire the proper people or establish an environment where your employees can be themselves at work.
Valuing your customers is one aspect of creating a customer-centric organization; valuing your staff is another. You must give empathy and care to your team in addition to building meaningful and compassionate relationships with your consumers.
Here are some pointers:
- During this pandemic, implement and encourage more of hybrid workplace culture.
- Make client service a priority at the top if you want your team to care about them.
- Recognize and reward people that go above and beyond regularly.
- Make every effort to assemble a team of passionate people about seeing your customers succeed.
- Remember to express gratitude to your personnel regularly.
You can also check our blog post where we explain some strategies to make the most of every workday while working remote.
4. Revise your business model
Businesses have had to rethink their work models and convert to a remote mode as a result of the pandemic. It's no wonder that this circumstance has had an impact on the performance of many teams.
But, is it really possible to provide customer service outside of the office? It can be difficult, but it'll be a breeze if you have the necessary equipment and a good plan in place.
Here are some things you could do from your organization's end to improve your business model and remote productivity:
- Encourage the use of support automation and self-service.
- More skilled personnel hiring.
- Invest in employee development and hold regular meetings.
- Monitor staff productivity through a performance management system.
- Induce a sense of fun through things like remote team building activities.
We have also listed some easy steps to reboot your business model, if you’re a solopreneur. Check the post here.
5. Map your customer’s journey
To meet your customer needs, you need to understand the different customer touchpoints and how they interact with your business across these points. That's where Customer journey maps come into play.
Customer journey maps are tools that can be used as part of a larger customer experience management strategy. These end-to-end customer experience views to map the customer journey's success while emphasizing areas where consumer expectations aren't met.
The mapping method can be a very informative technique to stimulate ideas, drive action, and lead to quick improvements for businesses interested in understanding the current state journey, informed by either internal expertise or customer feedback.
Close the gap between the current quo and the ideal by frequently reevaluating your trips from the client's perspective.
A simple spreadsheet or a complicated design could be used to create your travel map. In any case, the final product should be based on real-world facts and readily available to senior management.
6. Create a compelling customer experience strategy
Your customer experience strategy, like your brand strategy, is your plan to meet or exceed their expectations. It's the vehicle via which you may transform client expectations into reality, and it has consequences for practically every part of your business.
Customers nowadays are digitally savvy and have high expectations of companies. It's no longer enough to be complacent; companies must continually innovate to attract and retain happy customers. Providing exceptional customer service is one of the best ways to accomplish this.
Other fields are frequently integrated throughout this theme. Customer experience management (CXM or CX) is competing for attention. Strong CX begins with a human connection. A strong customer experience starts with a personal relationship. Many shops hire greeters to meet customers at the door. It establishes a rapport with clients and treats them as unique, individual people.
When you concentrate on your customer experience plan, you're investing in your brand. For example, through customer loyalty programs and good feedback, you can get more significant income which will benefit your business in the long run.
7. Grow direct interactions with customers
Companies must develop methods for staff to engage directly with customers. After all, even if it's just subconsciously, every employee has an influence on the client experience. These first-hand contacts provide everyone with a more profound knowledge of consumers and insights and fresh ideas for improving the customer experience.
Airbnb, for example, considers hosts to be customers, so it makes it easier for workers to engage with hosts by enabling them to stay in Airbnb rentals whenever they travel on business. When staff attends meetings at the Airbnb headquarters, the firm also urges hosts to remain with them. Furthermore, employees and hosts participate in an annual event where they discuss the previous year's lessons learned and future plans.
Most businesses' models don't allow for as much organic employee-customer engagement as Airbnb's. However, you may still enable relationships by allowing staff to monitor sales and support calls, customer visits, co-creation labs, and participate in customer events such as advisory board meetings and industry conferences.
8. Be empathic
Every person in your company has to have a firsthand understanding of client difficulties in order to build empathy.
Customer empathy is defined as the capacity to recognize a customer's emotional need, comprehend the reasons for that need, and respond effectively and adequately to that need. Empathy is one of those phrases that sounds great, but few businesses really grasp what it means, much less put it into practice.
Empathy must be instilled as a universal principle that informs everything their business does. Employees should be ready to devote a significant amount of time to reading customer communications and monitoring clients in order to determine what they want and need.
Customer service representatives should be encouraged to conduct research on the people they're assisting and construct micro personas for them to better understand how clients use your app or engage with your organization.
Sending frequent email updates to your consumers, for example, is a simple, efficient, and economical marketing tactic that may help you enhance current connections. Keep in touch with consumers by sending a newsletter with unique offers, helpful information, or recommendations.
You can find more useful consumer engagement tips here.
Your turn to build a customer-centric culture
It's safe to say that customers are the driving force behind your company's growth. The best way to keep your company expanding and fulfilling its full potential is to keep your customers in the spotlight.
Companies that provide the most satisfactory experiences by using customer-centric tips and strategies will succeed in an increasingly competitive world. As a result, make sure that every employee in your organization rallies around this shared goal and takes efforts to focus more on your consumers.
Don't delay it anymore! It's high time you start strategizing your own customer-centric plan that suits your business and see the results for yourself.