What does customer-centric mean, and why should you consider it?
Always deliver a positive customer experience, creating a customer centric culture
Every good organisation wants to serve its customers well and provide a customer centric culture, but only some can be described as customer–centric.
So, what exactly does this phrase mean? Why is a customer–centric approach important? How do you know if your brand is really putting its clients at the heart of all it does?
What is a customer-centric approach?
As the name suggests, it’s all about building your business around your clients. That means providing products and services that meet their needs; and forging long-term relationships with them, improving customer retention
As business expert Jake Frankenfeld says: “Client-centric businesses believe that their clients are the primary reason that they exist, and they use every means at their disposal to keep the client satisfied.”
Why is a customer-centric approach important?
Customer centricity creates brand loyalty and improves customer retention, and therefore business growth. In fact, according to a KPMG survey, 90% of CEOs are concerned about customer loyalty.
While developing a truly customer centric approach does require investment, it pays off: it’s considerably more cost–effective to retain clients than to recruit new ones.
And as traditional brands are increasingly challenged by digital start-ups, customer loyalty is becoming more important than ever.
Customer-centric vs customer focused
So what’s the difference between these two buzzwords? Essentially, it’s all in the time…
Customer focused organisations seek to serve their clients’ needs in the short-term. So if a hotel offers you a warm welcome and goes above and beyond to help you during your stay, it’s customer focused.
Customer centric comoanies want to build a long-term relationship with their clients. If a hotel chain provides its guests with a seamless booking experience, sends them information about the area before their stay, invites their feedback afterwards and offers them a discount for future bookings, it’s customer centric.
How can my organisation become a customer-centric company?
As you probably realise, it’s not about making tweaks to your service. Customer centricity must be a core value – the very reason your organisation exists, you need to create a customer centric culture.
Software as a Service expert Ben Johnson offers some top tips for embedding this approach into your organisational culture and adding customer lifetime value.
Another crucial tip is to “look beyond the purchase”. Johnson gives the example of a flame-resistant clothing company which also offers its customers free fire safety courses and certification. Not only does this help the clients reach their professional goals, but it also strengthens their long-term ties with the company.
How do you measure customer centricity?
There are several well-established methods that can be used to measure customer centricity.
Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) are based on the ratings that clients give to your product or service.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) still attracts controversy but is also a widely used measure of brand loyalty by asking clients whether they would recommend your organisation to a friend.
Churn/Customer attrition looks at how many clients are dropping off your database over the weeks, months or years.
Further models include customer satisfaction audits, which examine several excellence points, and customer effort scores, which measure customer service ease and completion.
All of them have their merits, and you certainly don’t need to pick just one. What’s crucial is that your metrics align to your business objectives.
Outsourced customer support services
Many organisations focus on getting their product just right and forget about the wider customer experience. Their expertise might be in manufacturing or medicine, for example, and they mistakenly view customer service as a bolt-on to their core business.
Here at Connect Assist we provide outsourced customer support services that put your clients at their very heart. We work with you to design and operate omnichannel contact centre services and live chat services that are built entirely around your customers becoming a customer centric company on your behalf.
Contact us today to discuss how we can support you in your efforts to become truly customer–centric and customer lifetime value to your business.