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Showing Up for Your Customers: Cultivating Customer Centricity

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Great companies know the customer comes first, but cultivating this kind of customer-centric culture takes careful planning. Learn how a customer focus can improve your business, and how you can implement it today. 

What is Customer Centricity? 

What does customer centricity mean? Put simply: business is ultimately in service to its customers. This requires you to have them at the forefront of your mind during any decisions being made. Rather than thinking, “What will this do for my team?” focus on “What will this do for the customer?” 

Having this focus makes you a customer-centric brand. Being customer centric means more than simply “putting the customer first”. You will need to anticipate and understand customer needs, preferences, and behaviors to fully tailor your company to those expectations. 

Staying zeroed in on the customer needs will bring a few elements to the forefront of your operation, including:

  • Customer Relationships - You should strive to be a valued part of your customers' lives and have active relationships with them.
  • Customer Experience - Every single touchpoint where a customer encounters your company should be exceptional and should leave them with a positive customer experience.
  • Personalized Experience - Treat each customer as an individual with unique needs and preferences, rather than a generic market segment.
  • Feedback - Listen to your customers, they know what they want and will take note when you engage with them.

It's not just about selling products or services. Truly understanding and meeting the needs of your customers. This extreme customer focus is one of the awesomely simple core principles of any successful business. 

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Benefits of a Customer or Client Centric Approach

Your customers are smart, and they can tell when they’re your number one priority. This kind of trust and comradery leads to tons of benefits, including: 

  • Customer Loyalty - Showing customers that they are valued and understood makes them far more likely to come back again and again.
  • Brand Advocacy - When you consistently deliver great customer experiences, customers will be overflowing with positive things to say about your brand. This leads to the cultivation of social proof and can lead to organic referrals.
  • Profitability - Beyond the obvious ways that a customer focus can boost revenue like increased loyalty and sales, having a clear understanding of your customers’ wants and needs helps you identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. Having lazer-focus on the customer experience is a positive business decision.
  • Competitive Advantage - Understanding your customers more than your competitors helps you stand out in a competitive marketplace.

When you know your customers inside and out, you can be sure you’re always giving them exactly what they need. 

Leading Your Team Toward a Customer Focus 

Every major change takes a strong leader and a clear vision. This is especially true when you’re shifting the central focus of your team. 

Building a customer centric ethos within your company might seem nebulous, but there are clear steps you can take to make it possible.  

Designing The Customer Journey 

Every interaction a customer has with your company is a part of the customer journey. From the moment they are aware of your company to long after they make a purchase, mapping the journey out will give you a clear idea of what they need and when. 

To get an insight into your customers’ motivations, you can map their journey as follows:

  • Identify Touchpoints - What are all the interactions they will have with your business? Include website visits, social media engagements, phone calls, store visits, and more.
  • Discover Goals and Emotions - What is the customer experience at each touchpoint? What do they want and how does your business make them feel?
  • Analysis - What might be hindering the customer experience? Are there delays, confusing information, or unresponsive customer service representatives? How can you improve these pain points?

Map in hand, you can ensure every touchpoint goes as smoothly as possible. 

Tracking Success

It’s difficult to know how successful your customer-centric transformation is without clear KPIs to track. Through the process, keep these customer satisfaction metrics in mind. 

  • Net Promoter Score - How likely are customers to recommend your brand?
  • Customer Satisfaction Score - How would your customers rate their experience of your brand?
  • Customer Effort Score - How simple or challenging is it to interact with your brand and make a purchase or contact customer support?
  • Customer Loyalty - How much repeat business are you getting?
  • Churn Rate - How many customers leave your business after interacting with them?

When you keep an eye on these metrics, you can pinpoint any challenges and see the fruits of your labor. 

Voice of the Customer 

Every single facet of your company needs to be tuned in to the voice of the customer. 

Hearing this voice requires you to interact with your customers and find out what their needs, expectations, preferences, and feedback are. 

You may want to try:

  • Understanding Your Customers - Conduct market research, gather feedback through surveys or interviews, and analyze customer data to gain insights into their needs, pain points, and desires.
  • Creating Customer Personas - Develop detailed profiles of typical customers based on key demographic and psychographic factors. This will help your team better understand and empathize with different customer segments.
  • Implementing customer feedback - Put in place multiple channels for customers to provide feedback, such as surveys, feedback forms, customer service hotlines, social media listening, or online communities.

Once you’ve heard from and understand your customers, be sure to implement it across your business from the day-to-day operations to the overall strategy. 

Unleashing the Potential of Your Customer Centric Organization

How often do you conduct one-on-one performance reviews with your team? Providing regular performance feedback to every employee is a critical part of effective leadership.

 If you’d like to learn more about maximizing performance through business leadership coaching, connect with us or consider attending one of our upcoming leadership events.

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Tim O’Connor