“The only boss is the customer,” said Sam Walton, CEO of Walmart. The customer is indeed the greatest wealth of your business. From there, being customer centric seems to be perfectly obvious. 83% of companies declare that being customer-centric is a strategic priority, according to Actito (October 2015) …
Although customer centricity is not a recent concept, it is gaining more success today due to the advent of digital. But what exactly is customer centric? What are its benefits? And how do you put it in place ?
Customer centricity: Definition
Becoming a customer centric requires placing the customer at the center of your business concerns. In other words, rather than reasoning on the basis of your products (product centric), you prioritize your actions based on the consequences they would have on your customers.
Being customer-oriented means seeking to maximize long-term customer satisfaction at all points of contact. It’s about a true corporate culture to integrate and also a process to start. In order not to fall into “customer washing” (on the model of “green washing”), which is quite widespread unfortunately, a real customer culture must spread in all areas of your business. “Many companies that claim to be customer-oriented are only at the very beginning of a long process,” said Philippe Moati, professor of economics at Paris-Diderot University.
Both strategic and operational, the approach has become enormously important for several years. Because digital tools offer great opportunities, customer centricity is accelerating today. On the one hand, companies have a set of digital resources to strengthen their knowledge and customer relations. On the other hand, customers use a wide variety of technologies to inform themselves and be advised in their purchases.
5 advantages of being customer centric
Adopting customer centricity will bring you many benefits. Here are 5:
2. Identify new growth drivers
Being focused on your customers makes it possible to quickly and regularly detect their expectations. Thus, you manage your business more skilfully by orienting yourself wisely on new niches with growth potential.
3. Encourage re-purchase
By being customer centric, you boost your customers’ satisfaction over the long term. You meet their expectations by facilitating their omnichannel purchasing journey through an ever better optimized sales tunnel. They then become regular consumers of your brand. This boosts the ROI (return on invest – return on investment) of your customer orientation process.
4. Strengthen your positioning
As part of a differentiation strategy, placing the customer at the heart of your business strengthens your positioning. By developing your specificities, you distinguish yourself from the competition on the customer relationship aspect and not on products. You create emotion and sharing, two concepts that create proximity with your customers.
5. Personalize your customer experience
Far from mass marketing, customer centricity allows you to delight your customers by offering them a unique and memorable experience on all points of contact. Fulfilling their expectations, you create intense relational moments that consolidate a long-term customer relationship.
How to be customer-centric?
Traditionally in England, companies are product centered. Being customer-centric disrupts corporate culture by changing its fundamental paradigm. It is an internally driven process that may take time to be fully operational. Staff training as well as organizational changes are essential prerequisites. Indeed, the approach impacts all the teams and modifies the ways of thinking as well as the behaviors.
Changing your business to a customer centric approach means doing increase your customer knowledge. Indeed, a customer obsession approach is built thanks to customer feedback. All interactions between a client and your organization (regardless of the channel used) then become sources of study. To do this, the exploitation of your customer files and the intensification of your content marketing are the best avenues.
Analysis of customer data to boost customer knowledge
Analyzing the needs and expectations of your customers is fundamental to being clearly customer-centric. With big data and the emergence of predictive marketing, analyzing customer wishes takes on another dimension. It should allow you to completely rethink your approach by intelligently exploiting customer opinions and comments, whether positive or negative.
Becoming customer-oriented requires having segmented customer files in order to identify the portions with the highest added value. These customers, the most profitable, must therefore be the focus of your attention. You have to study it sources of enchantment (to duplicate them) and dissatisfaction (to prevent attrition). One of your main goals is to seek to eliminate or mitigate pain points (bread points), those moments of the buying experience that were badly lived by your customers.
Content marketing to create links and develop engagement
Demanding, expert and zapper, today’s client has changed a lot. It is up to you to determine what role it should play in your development and activate the right levers: partner, prescriber or ambassador rather than inactive, dissatisfied or detractor. By creating lasting links, content marketing allows you to boost customer relationships and expand your community via social media.
To make customer centricity your mantra, interact with your audience by creating qualitative content is central: blog articles, newsletters, emailing, publications on social networks, etc. Content marketing produces material that will be shared and relayed by your customers on the Web. So you create engagement by developing your e-reputation and trust in your brand. In addition, this strategy meets customer expectations, unlike conventional advertising campaigns.
Customer centricity is a real state of mind in business that must be shared by everyone at all times. On your side, do you consider yourself as customer centric or product centric? Do not hesitate to comment on the benefits you get from your positioning!