Customer Centricity – A Crucial Factor to Build a Cohesive Customer Experience
Customer-centric experience has become crucial for online B2B businesses. Tighten your seat belts as we embark on a journey to discover how a customer-centric strategy can reap dividends in building a cohesive customer experience.
Oct 1, 2021
In today’s fast-paced business world, there is an increasing focus on providing a customer-centric experience by providing a personalized customer experience.
Irrespective of whether you are a B2B or B2C business, it is imperative to inculcate a customer-centric approach to drive business, differentiate themselves from the competition, and inspire brand loyalty.
To truly achieve a world-class customer experience that is completely personalized, every organization needs to adopt a customer-centric culture.
In the forthcoming sections, we will look at the correlation between customer centricity and delivering a positive customer experience. This will include looking closely at the impact of poor customer experience and great customer experience. And then finally, we will look at the success mantra of maintaining a customer-centric culture.
So, let’s get started.
Correlation between customer centricity and delivering a positive customer experience
We have already covered the definition of customer centricity in our previous blogs. However, to reiterate, customer-centricity is all about making business decisions that put customers’ interests first. Today, it has become a prominent marketing buzzword in the B2B business environment.
The sad part is that while businesses may comprehend the term “customer-centricity” in theory, they fail to utilize this concept when it comes to practical implementation truly. The problem lies in changing the entire mindset from the business’ perspective from what is good for the company and me to what is good for the customers.
There are times when organizations have completely focused on their own needs instead of the customers. This is, perhaps, the biggest challenge faced by organizations when it comes to adopting customer-centric culture.
From a practical point of view too becoming customer-centric can be a major challenge. Think of it as having siloed customer data or insufficient technology to extract all the information together. It can be a complete lack of understanding of the organization’s staff to comprehend the benefits and how to think about customers first.
But, here, one crystal clear thing is the impact of customer experience on the overall success of a business when done well and when done poorly.
Have you ever purchased something online and found it a challenging process and then thought, why can’t this be more like Airbnb? This is known as liquid expectations.
In simple words, it means that the bar has been set incredibly high to achieve a great customer experience. Now, imagine you are not able to meet the customer expectations.
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The impact of poor customer experience
A poor customer experience can have a drastic impact. But, in certain organizations, they overlook it in favor of product development and marketing. Always keep in mind the experience that your customers have while interacting with your brand is the most crucial aspect that drives new sales, retains customers, and builds advocacy.
With the help of these liquid expectations, customers have very little patience to tolerate bad customer experiences. They are even willing to move to your competitors. 51% of customers won’t engage with your brand again after having a single negative customer experience. Since the expectations are set pretty high, any slip-up might mean that you lose the customer forever.
If that was not bad enough, not only will 50% of customers abandon a brand after a single poor customer experience, they let everyone know about it. 95% of customers share their negative experiences with their friends and relatives. So, poor customer experience can have a negative effect on your brand’s reputation.
The effect of a great customer experience
While we have already seen the damaging effects of negative customer experience, the upside is by devoting enough time and energy to concentrating on customer-centricity and experience, companies can transform their business and have a distinct edge over their competitors.
64% of people find customer experience more important than the product’s price while making a purchase. This goes to show that having lower prices to undercut your competition is not always a wise strategy. Brands can maintain their prices and concentrate on providing customer experience to justify the additional prices being charged.
This shows that a good customer experience results in good business, which ultimately yields greater profit. And, all this is possible when you utilize a customer-centric approach in your organization.
Now, the question comes how to ensure that your organization becomes more customer-centric?
Let’s try and answer that question in the next section.
The go-to mantra to maintain a customer-centric culture
It is never an easy feat for an organization to flip the customer-centric switch. This is especially true for businesses that have already established themselves for a pretty long time. However, there are certain steps that businesses can take towards becoming more customer-centric and improving their customer’s experience.
Incorporate customer experience metrics as KPIs
While it is true that revenue and profits are primary KPIs for the majority of businesses, it is vital to incorporate customer experience metrics that can measure the success to enhance your customer experience.
Some of the key metrics that can help you measure customer experience in some way include:
Voice of customer
Net promoter score
Lifetime customer value
Invest in customer journey mapping
Customer journey mapping is crucial for comprehending your customers and seeing how they interact with your brand at various stages of their buying lifecycle. Every purchase has a lifecycle that starts from customers ascertaining they have a problem and need a solution to become a long-term customer and brand advocate.
Although the process of customer journey mapping is complex and quite involved, the results can prove to be astonishing that can go a long way in transforming your business.
Teach your staff members to keep the customers’ needs at the top
Since we are talking about adopting a customer-centric mindset, all your staff members must align with keeping the customers’ needs at the top priority.
This involves educating and communicating to them what exactly it means to be customer-centric, the measures of success, and how they should approach problem-solving with a customer-first lens.
Designing the products with the customers’ needs in mind
Irrespective of whether you are designing a product, website, or any other customer touchpoint, it is important to be customer-focused. This means prioritizing everything from the customers’ perspective, even if it proves to be challenging for the short-term for the organization. Although the beautiful design is great and may win you many awards and accolades, if it does not assist your customers in achieving their goals, what is the point?
Have a testing culture
One of the vital aspects of transitioning to a customer-centric business is the execution of a testing culture. So, when designing or problem-solving, not only does it pay to think customers not only first but also actually testing with real customers to validate that what you are doing is what they need.
Some of the examples of testing culture include:
Having a focus group discussion to concept test a new product
The testing of a new mobile app design from a user’s perception
A/B testing content changes on your website
Testing and learning with real customers is crucial for the development of a strong customer experience.
The budding steps towards becoming a customer-centric organization to build cohesive customer experience
To provide a strong base for customer-centric culture, organizations must ensure that they put the customers’ needs at the forefront. This includes all the facets of their business, like what they do, how they do, and why they do it. The ultimate way to measure the success of a customer-centric strategy is by ensuring that every decision that every employee in the organization makes is to fulfill the customer experience.
When you keep the customers’ needs at the heart of every decision and individuals within the organization work towards building a customer-centric culture, the end result would be a proactive approach towards creating an excellent customer experience at each and every level of the organization.
Remember, it only takes a single conversation to create a customer-centric culture in an organization. So, when do you plan to include a customer-centric approach in your organization to build a cohesive customer experience?
Vivek Asrani is a prolific writer by passion. Currently, he is working as a Senior Content Writer & Strategist at SmartKarrot. He has an overall experience of more than 9 years as a content writer. He loves writing on customer experience, customer service, and customer success.