SHARE THE ARTICLE ON
Customer centricity may be defined literally as putting customers at the center of choices. While that description is a solid beginning point for generally explaining customer centricity, there’s more to it than merely listening to our consumers. That’s because client centricity is an organizational attitude that pervades every aspect of a company, not simply customer-facing teams like support, success, and sales.
This strategy focuses on obtaining, tracking, and acting on customer feedback with the ultimate objective of creating products that consumers actually enjoy and value.
Aside from that, there is an aspect of mutual respect and relationship-building that is less commonly acknowledged yet vital. Customer-centric businesses try to co-create with their consumers by encouraging and enabling them to provide candid feedback. When firms give consumers a metaphorical seat at the table, they commit to not only considering their input, but also to following up with honest responses about what actions the feedback has triggered (even if they have opted not to act on a piece of criticism). This fosters a mutually beneficial collaboration between customers and product development groups, which is a critical differentiation between just listening to consumers and genuinely being customer-centric.
Product management companies do not become customer-centric by accident. This is due to the fact that the mentality and approach need the implementation of numerous essential abilities. Talking to consumers is a terrific place to start, but to reap the full advantages of a customer-centric strategy, product organizations need more than a regular cadence for customer research.
Let’s have a look at these essential qualifications and competencies:
Mechanisms for collecting and monitoring client feedback
Committing to customer-centricity entails committing to obtaining a representative view of all target consumer groups, rather than the viewpoint of a noisy few. Product development teams that do not have a scalable system in place for collecting and recording input from several sources may struggle to gain a comprehensive grasp of client demands.
Organizations require not just a process for gathering and tracking the many sorts of feedback that they get, but also a knowledge of when and how to use the various types of feedback that they receive. For example, whether to utilize qualitative vs quantitative data, and how to combine the two in a meaningful way.
Capability to concentrate on certain clientele
In addition to a scalable method of collecting client feedback data, product teams must be skilled in segmenting their data. A major flaw with this strategy is failing to recognize that not every client group has equal commercial or strategic significance and instead focusing on all feedback. Instead, customer-centric product teams understand which segments provide the greatest value and prioritize meeting those demands.
Accountability, as well as the capacity to close the loop
As previously said, mutual regard and reciprocity are critical components of customer centricity. Customers who provide feedback may develop a lack of respect if they are continuously kept in the dark about what has been done with that feedback. Similar sensations might be evoked by false pretenses such as “thank you for your comments, we’ll act on it shortly.” To make this method work, product development teams must commit to not only responding to feedback with updates, but also informing consumers (nicely) when their ideas are simply not a good match.
Extreme “trouble vision”
Finally, with a seeming never-ending number of demands to meet, product development teams must be adept at looking beyond requests to the underlying problems. Because, as Bruce McCarthy points out, “there’s generally a lot shorter list of issues to solve than requests to satisfy.” To get to the bottom of a problem, it’s frequently necessary to dive further into requests by asking the correct questions, which demands its own set of abilities. After identifying the underlying customer problem, customer-centric product teams may further filter their lists of articulated client challenges using the glasses of product vision and objectives.
Access to customer facts across the organization
Because customer centricity is an organizational-wide perspective that is mainly driven by customer truths, it is critical that the whole company has access to those realities. Customer-centric product companies make significant attempts to disseminate customer stories and feedback to other departments, as well as to provide workers across the company with essential context that may assist them to be more customer-centric in their own methods.
Customers that are dissatisfied with our brand will abandon it. We don’t have a business if we don’t have customers.
Consider our personal interactions with our favorite brands. They make it simple to conduct business with them; they connect with us via our preferred means, and they may even supply us with deals at the identical moment we intend to buy. Consider the people who get it wrong. How frequently do we persist with companies that don’t make us happy in the Marie Kondo age of clearing out, tidying up, and simplifying? Consumers today have a simple method to abandon businesses they adore, and they are not scared to do so. According to PWC, one out of every three clients will abandon a brand they love, after one bad experience.
A customer-centric strategy helps every encounter and step of the customer experience, from awareness to purchase to advocacy. Organizations are being established in today’s digital world, which focuses on personalization, on their commitment to do what’s right for their consumers. It is the single most important competitive differentiator.
Nordstrom, for example, has traditionally been associated with excellent customer service. In order to respond to customer expectations, they have duplicated their well-known in-store experience in the digital shopping experience with an innovative mobile app as well as additional services such as purchase online/pickup in store.
Loyalty and retention are the ultimate benefits of developing customer-centric procedures. It is simpler and less expensive to maintain a client than to gain a new one, as the old adage goes. The Harvard Business Review highlighted in 2014 that obtaining a new client is anywhere from five to twenty-five times more expensive than maintaining an existing one. This is not a novel idea. So, why aren’t more businesses emphasizing retention over acquisition?
When customer-centricity is done correctly, our customers trust that they will not only get what they want and need from our company, but that they will also have an enjoyable and frictionless experience, such as box less returns, order online/pickup in store, immediate refunds, and fast delivery of online orders (sometimes same-day or even 2-hour). These encounters both pleasure and build trust that helps to retain customers for the long haul.
A customer-centric approach is a sales strategy that prioritizes the customer’s requirements, wants, and communication preferences during the purchasing process.
From start to finish, the customer journey should be organized such that all sales activities and communication are geared at assisting the client in achieving immediate and long-term success.
Customer-centric selling should extend beyond the sales department to our customer support, marketing, and account management departments in order to be truly effective.
When we have a customer-focused firm, we will acquire customer loyalty, boost retention rates, and enhance referrals, creating a win-win situation for both us and our clients.
This is an important step in ensuring that all of our workers (especially those on the front lines) approach every contact with the best interests of our customers in mind.
Remind our salespeople that selling is a wonderful profession—as long as they are dedicated to providing actual value to your clients. Most businesses pay lip service to maintaining a customer-centric focus, but truly customer-centric sales organizations cultivate a customer-centric culture. From start to end, they live and breathe client centricity.
They assess everything they do through the customer’s eyes and with the customer’s requirements, desires, and behaviors in mind. Only when customer centricity is accepted in this manner can it be effectively applied throughout the business.
2. Client Research
Customer-centric sales companies take the time to understand the customer at both the industry and individual levels. Equip our sales force with data-driven insights on their clients and train them to conduct preliminary research on each prospect.
Make certain that our representatives are pre-call preparing in order to thoroughly grasp their clients and prospects. If they do, the solutions they offer will be suited to the buyer’s needs and will deliver the most value.
3. Pose Excellent Questions
Throughout the customer life cycle, every customer encounter should be oriented on the customer.
We train our salesmen to ask probing questions that reach to the heart of the customer’s problems, hopes, and objections.
Then, tell them to pay close attention to the responses they receive.
4. Consult with others
A customer-centric sales strategy focuses first on understanding the problem and then on assisting in its resolution with the best solution.
Teach our salespeople how to market in a consultative manner. They should be able to actively listen, provide ideas, and create solutions based on what is actually in the best interests of the consumer.
A consultative approach will also enhance our team’s first contact resolution rates (correctly answering the customer’s requirement the first time they phone or email, removing the need for the customer to follow up a second time). This increases consumer happiness and strengthens our brand’s reputation.
5. Use the Communication Style of the Customer
Our sales force will be ahead of the competition thanks to active listening, insightful inquiries, and a consultative approach. However, if we want to stand out from the pack, train our reps how to recognize and adapt to the customer’s preferred communication style.
Adapting to the communication style of the consumer will naturally put them at ease and improve their entire experience with our organization.
6. Spend money on customer service training
Customer centricity is a company approach that extends beyond the sales force. Our customer care team is an essential component of the overall customer experience. When the two teams work together, it leads to greater customer loyalty, retention, revenue, and referrals.
7. Solicit and Adjust in Response to Feedback
The customer should be at the center of a customer-centric approach from start to finish. This implies that every client should be able to submit feedback, whether through a post-sale survey, scorecard, or other format that works for our company.
That input should be used by our company to constantly enhance how you service the consumer.
Requesting feedback from our consumers (and even missed opportunities) might help us discover what we’re doing properly, and where we can tweak our approach to be more successful in the future.
People frequently inquire as to how a customer-centric strategy differs from a product-centric one (also known as a product-led approach). It turns out that the two aren’t as dissimilar as many people imagine. In truth, the two are inextricably linked.
Customer centricity is one of three important pillars of a product centric or product driven strategy, according to Bruce McCarthy, product management expert, author, and creator of Product Culture.
“Being product led mixes consumer demands and requirements into a bigger view of what’s good for the firm strategically,” he argues, adding that it entails looking at things through a broader lens, asking, “Where is there viable business for us?” What is technically possible and logical? What can we create that is both original and distinct, as well as appealing to the customer? Those are the three Venn diagram bubbles that people draw in product, and although being customer-centric is one of them, being product-centric is all three.”
According to that concept, consumer centricity and product centricity (also known as being product led) are not mutually incompatible, but rather complimentary and mutually supportive of one another.
BEST PRACTICES FOR BECOMING A CUSTOMER CENTRIC ORGANIZATION
Being a customer-centric company helps us to anticipate our clients’ requirements and please them with our goods and services.
Consider Apple CEO Tim Cook’s statement, “Our entire mission in life is to give you something you didn’t know you wanted.” When you obtain it, you can’t fathom your life without it.”
Apple’s whole strategy centers around the client. Customers fall in love with their product, and their Apple Centers give world-class customer assistance to help them get set up and out the door with a grin on their face. As a result, a customer-centric brand develops goods, processes, policies, and a culture that are meant to provide customers with a positive experience from the time of discovery through the point of purchase and beyond.
Take A Guided Tour Of Our Platform With Our On-Demand Survey Demos. Explore Our Survey Platform In Short Videos.
Here are four excellent practices to help our organization stand out when it comes to customer-centricity:
Hire for customer satisfaction: Employees are the front-facing workforce who will shape many of the consumer interactions. Regardless of function, prioritize recruiting personnel that are aligned with customer-centric thinking and the value of the customer experience at our company.
Prioritize connections: Customers aren’t just numbers that may be evaluated and studied in a revenue performance report. They are folks who profit immensely from establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with us.
Demystify customer data: A new customer-centric approach necessitates consolidated access to customer data and insights. A CRM database may assist in providing a unified front that offers better customer experiences by facilitating a better knowledge of consumers.
Link corporate culture to customer outcomes: When activities can be connected to results, employees will be driven by a customer-centricity approach. Strategies that minimize customer wait times or make transitions simpler for a customer, for example, can be collected in real-time to show effective strategy execution.
BENEFITS OF CUSTOMER CENTRICITY
Why are so many product firms adopting a customer-centric strategy today?
Let’s start with the obvious: this technique assists product teams in developing items that customers adore. Putting true, stated customer problems at the heart of product development not only guarantees that customers’ growing demands are satisfied, but it also assists product organizations in reducing the risk of producing the incorrect item. It’s a win-win situation.
Need a map of our platform? Browse through all that we have to offer
Another significant advantage is a better client experience. In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, customers have a plethora of options when it comes to the companies with whom they do business. Giving customers a say in product creation and committing to listening to that voice and sharing the results back to them is one-way firms may differentiate themselves.
Organizations that use customer-centric product development to help them build exceptional products and memorable customer experiences may notice the following quantitative effects:
However, one of the most major beneficial outcomes is less obvious at first glance: customer-centric product development may help transform typical consumers into ardent product advocates.