What Is Customer Centricity, and Why Does it Matter?

CX Today Team

Learn more about the philosophy that puts customers at the center of all decision-making

What Is Customer Centricity, and Why Does it Matter?

Customer centricity involves factoring the customer into every people, process, and technology decision, across the enterprise.

A robust customer-centric focus helps companies maximize profits by ensuring that they offer the products and services their customers want most, in the way they want them.

Traits of a Customer-Centric Organization

  • A customer-centric organization often starts with the customer and works backward. As such, all business decisions factor in what is best for the customer – alongside financial and employee considerations.
  • It has a deep understanding of its customers, collating data from their customer journey, including their purchase and interaction history, alongside demographic data. Customer-centric companies also often add other AI-powered tools – such as sentiment analysis and predictive analytics – to draw further customer insights from this data.
  • It harnesses data and research to design its products, services, and effortless experiences that meet prominent customer preferences. Often, companies will mold these insights into customer promises, which departments will adhere to when innovating and planning for the future.
  • It breaks down siloes, encouraging collaboration between different departments to address customer pain points and accelerate business transformation through cross-function alliances.

Benefits of Being Customer-Centric

  • Customer Centricity Enables Agility – When companies design platforms in line with customer needs, as opposed to what is easiest for developers, the CX stack becomes more manageable and flexible over time. Not only does this increase agility over time, but it is also easier to avoid inadvertently creating pain points.
  • Customer Centricity Fosters Loyalty – 2020 Customer Contact Week research suggests that 88% of customers will switch to a competitor if a company is not customer-centric. Such a statistic indicates that when customers feel valued, and their needs are met, they are more likely to stay loyal to a company.
  • Customer-Centric Companies Spot Trends – A customer-centric organization is better able to detect the needs of all its customers, including those with niche or specialized requirements, and spot trends in behaviors. They may then act off these insights and build stronger relationships with customers.
  • Customer Centricity Drives ProfitabilityDeloitte research highlights that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that do not focus intently on the customer. Perhaps this is because customer-centric companies often realize increased brand awareness, as satisfied customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with others.

How to Build a Culture of Customer-Centricity

Here are some critical steps for building a customer-centric culture.

Connect Core Values With the Customer

Ideally, the customer journey and company culture should reflect its values. Creating a set of customer promises and considering – at every touchpoint – whether the company is adhering to those is a critical part of a customer journey mapping exercise. Also, consider how well the company promotes these promises within the business and how they can help motivate employees with an overarching purpose.

Hire and Train People Who Fit the Culture

Even if an organization has the most customer-centric ideas and business culture, it is challenging to accomplish success without employees that believe in their vision. Choosing staff based on their qualifications and expertise will always be vital but do not overlook how well they align with brand values.

Create a Clear Feedback Strategy

Customer-centric companies ensure that customers feel listened to. It is essential to have a system for customers to provide positive and negative feedback. Also, complaint management should not be viewed as a necessary evil but as an opportunity to improve. Remember, criticism is a chance to learn and improve products, services, and experiences.

Connect With Customers Via Technology

The way customers interact with businesses has changed dramatically in recent years, and technology has played a significant role in this shift. Customers now expect companies to offer effortless, omnichannel experiences. Implementing a centralized CRM system that stores customer journey information and uses data analytics to gain insights into customer behaviors ensures better, customer-centric service experiences.

Tools that Can Help Improve Customer Centricity

  • Customer Data Platform (CDP) – CDP has become an essential tool in supporting transformation initiatives and meeting customer needs. Essentially, it is a database that centralizes and tags all client data from any source or channel, funneling information into the CRM system to create 360-degree customer profiles.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – A CRM enables a business to store and analyze customer data, which employees or automation tools can access to address and resolve their problems. CRMs keep personal data about customers and store their interaction data with employees. Sales, marketing, customer service, and digital commerce all benefit from CRMs.
  • Business Intelligence Solution – A business intelligence solution connects the enterprise, creating a unified view of CX and painting a picture of critical customer trends with data visualization techniques. These insights help fashion a well of information for different departments to drink from to improve performance. They may also inspire cross-function collaboration to meet mutual CX goals.

The Bottom Line

Companies need to prioritize their customer needs and desires to stay competitive. In today’s business landscape, customer centricity is essential to the success of many brands. Businesses can achieve this by creating a customer vision, promises, and goals shared across the enterprise. Yet, it also requires a culture change, where the company empowers employees to base decisions on what is best for the customer.

Wish to delve deeper into more CX trends? Check out our video overview of the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2021


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