In the past, companies operated and made important growth decisions with little input from customers. They didn’t have the feedback channels we do today. Many viewed customers as revenue generators, not sources of valuable information. They offered products and services they thought the market needed. The concept of involving customers in the development of new products didn’t formally exist. In short, very few businesses of the past were customer centric.
With the evolution of technology and our global society, customers are now closer to businesses than ever before. Slowly, companies learned how to harness the power of customer insights. Today, that insight is an integral part of many businesses’ growth strategies. This is a summarized definition of customer centric, but it goes deeper than that.
What does customer centric mean?
Being customer centric involves maintaining close and open contact with the customer. The goal is to reduce the gap between how you and your customers view and perceive your service or product.
As a growing company, your primary objective is to nurture healthy, long-term relationships with your customers. Keeping their interests in the periphery does more harm than good. Due to new strategies to maximize revenue, customers’ interests are now a top priority for modern brands.
Through customer relationship management (CRM) software and customer success teams, it’s easy to maintain a 360-degree view of the customer. This helps in understanding consumer behavior and driving deeper engagement. In an increasingly competitive business landscape, brands must be customer centric to remain competitive.
What are the benefits of customer centric business culture?
Having provided some context around customer centricity, let’s look at a few benefits it provides.
Embracing online outreach
As we get closer to one another in a digitally-connected world, companies are becoming more conscious of customers’ needs. At the same time, customers now have more control over the customer-vendor relationship than ever before. Customer expectations are growing and dissatisfied customers can easily impact a brand’s reputation.
Positive online reviews can drive revenue growth. Whereas negative feedback can have detrimental impacts on our business reputation. Online customer interaction generates loads of benefits for businesses.
Optimized customer journey
A customer centric journey helps you analyze each stage of customer relationship development. You can understand the customer’s preferences and interests before marketing and promoting your product.
That tells you what brought them closer to your brand. And finally what made them stick with your product. Understanding all these stages thoroughly helps you create better strategies for long term retention.
More effective sales collateral
Winning new customers is much easier with targeted, relevant sales collateral. Simply align your collateral with your audience’s interests and closing new opportunities is easy.
As a salesperson, your objective is to sell your product. Potential customers need to understand how they can extract real value from your product. Customer centric sales collateral benefits your company as well as your customers.
Streamlined operational excellence
Businesses that value the voice of the customer experience greater employee and customer satisfaction. Businesses that align their efforts with customer needs tend to outperform those that don’t. This streamlines business operations and results in more efficient internal processes.
How to become a customer centric organization
It all starts with adopting a customer-oriented mindset. Customer success teams in modern SaaS companies produce better results due to this mindset. But there are few areas you need to work on to align your whole organization with this strategy.
Unite all teams around customer centricity
Every functional area of a business must align their strategies with customer needs. They should thoroughly study customers’ challenges, pain points, and interests before delivering their services. This helps them generate, identify, and nurture loyal customers.
Intelligently manage customer data
Many traditional CRM systems are not capable of properly nurturing customer relationships. You need a robust customer success platform to monitor customer behavior more closely. They produce the actionable insights needed to create better strategies for customer engagement and product enhancement.
Omni-channel customer support
Today’s customer support teams must be active on multiple channels. Many customers prefer to contact customer support via social media. Your support team should be active on all the social channels your customers use.
Add value in every customer interaction
Make sure to add value to each customer interaction. Avoid meeting them focused only on your own agenda. Before interacting with them, ask yourself how your customer will benefit from this meeting? Why are they giving you their time? When you value your customers’ time, you develop higher-quality relationships.
Customer centricity examples
Many companies implement customer centric strategies. Below, we highlight a few of them and look at their customer centric approach.
Amazon’s mindset is one of the best examples of this approach. That is one reason it is among the most successful businesses in the world. Their highly intelligent algorithm makes it easy for customers to shop online.
They study consumer behavior quite closely through the items purchased, viewed, similar products others bought, and so on. Based on this data, their algorithm recommends products that would interest consumers the most.
Patagonia is another brand with loyal customers. They gain loyalty because of their sustainability campaigns. The company realizes that environmental sustainability is something their customers value.
So, they weave those values into everything they sell. Their production process is fully transparent. Customers can see their list of suppliers and producers. Through this approach, they attract customers who share those same values.
This non-conventional, customer centric company revolutionizes the way business units communicate. The company makes extensive use of customer feedback to deliver continuous upgrades in their product.
They often focus less on sales or usage evaluation and instead measure their success through Net Promoter Score and other customer satisfaction metrics. It is only through their customer centric vision that they were able to acquire eight million customers.
Whether you have already shifted to the customer-centric approach or you are in the process of doing so, know that this is the future of business. With so many options available for customers, it’s difficult to remain competitive without focusing on the customer. 26
Companies that solicit customer feedback make more informed business decisions, perform better and retain more satisfied customers.
Rakhin has over 10 years of experience driving business development and client services. In his prior roles, he stayed close to customers to understand their requirements and help them achieve their business goals. He is passionate about customer success.
Published August 12, 2020, Updated March 02, 2023