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Being customer-centric is more important than ever. By taking the time to understand what the customer wants and needs, you can create a product or service they are happy with.

Satisfied customers are likely to come back, refer others or even give positive online reviews. All good for your business!

What does customer centric mean?

Customer centric means that as a company you focus on the wants and needs of your customer. So not only do you ensure that the customer is satisfied with the final product, but you also actively think about how to improve the product or service.

In doing so, it is important to listen carefully to the customer so that you know exactly what they want.

When you put your customer first and combine it with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), you collect a wealth of data, giving you a full 360-degree customer view. You can then use this data to improve the customer experience.

For example:

  • You can use customer data to understand buying behavior, interests and engagement
  • You can identify opportunities to create products, services and promotions for your best customers
  • You can use customer lifetime value to segment customers based on top spenders.

Deloitte and Touche research found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable than non-customer-centric companies, and 64% of companies with a customer-centric CEO are more profitable than their competitors.

Customer-centric companies are able to provide a positive customer experience throughout their customer journey. To achieve this, companies must undergo a massive shift in the structure and culture of their organization.

This is what it means to be a customer centric company

Customer centricity has become an increasingly important business strategy in recent years. Numerous studies have shown that customer centric companies are more profitable and have a better customer experience than companies that are not customer centric.

What does it mean to be customer centric? As the term suggests, it means putting the customer at the center of your business. You take the time to understand what the customer wants and needs, and then you work to provide it. This includes listening carefully to the customer and using customer data to improve the customer experience.

You build your entire business strategy around your customer, so to speak. Your products are built together with your customers. Basically, you treat your customer as the CEO of your company.

To be customer centric, your company must undergo a huge shift in culture and structure. It is not easy, but well worth the effort! The benefits are increased profitability, loyal customers, greater customer satisfaction and a better customer experience.

The Customer Centricity Model

Customer centricity is not something you just add on; it is a strategic choice. Nor is it easy. You have to make choices that affect your entire organization.

A customer centric organization

A customer centric organization is one that puts its customers first and uses its resources to meet their needs. To do this, you need the customer experience, customer value and customer lifecycle. The overlap between these three terms is customer centricity:

Customer Centric - infographic

The Customer Experience

The Customer Experience is the combination of all of a customer’s interactions and experiences with an organization. This ranges from both online to offline interactions and exists throughout the customer journey.

Relevance is key to a good customer journey and experience because it allows customers to connect with your product or service in a way that feels natural and helpful. Timing is also important to give customers the information they need, when they need it most.

If you want to have conversations with customers that matter to them, you must first have a good understanding of who they are. You can get that by integrating and analyzing customer data….

Data comes from many different places, both inside and outside the company. And they are both structured and unstructured.

With every interaction with a company, customers’ positive feelings increase. An excellent customer experience across all channels not only creates loyal and satisfied customers, it also encourages them to spend more money.

Customer Lifetime Value

The second part of the Customer Centricity Model is customer lifetime value. This is the total value of the customer, divided into two categories: potential value and actual value.

Potential value refers to what the customer wants from a service or product, while true customer value refers to the bonuses the customer has received from using that service or product.

No two customers are alike, each has their own specific needs and values they attach to products or services. The service or product with the highest quality is not automatically the one with the greatest value to customers, as that benefit is balanced against its cost.

The potential customer value is as important, if not more important, than its actual value. Organizations generate predictions about a customer’s future based on the data they have about him now.

In any customer-centric organization, it is important to understand what the customer values most so that you can offer services or products that lead to greater customer satisfaction.

Customer Lifecycle

The customer lifecycle refers to the journey a customer goes through during their interaction with your product or service. This includes stages such as consideration, purchase, use and maintenance. After they are done with your product or service, the cycle begins again.

Organizations that are responsive and can act quickly when customer circumstances change are valued by customers.

If an organization provides the ideal customer experience, there will likely be more loyal customers as a result. Remember, customers want to feel valued and expect products or services that are accessible and convenient.

Challenges to Being Customer Centric

Becoming customer centric can be difficult because it requires a change in organizational culture. The customer must come first in all decisions, which can be a challenge when profit is also a priority.

Technology can also be a barrier to customer centricity. If an organization does not have the right tools, it will not be able to collect and analyze customer data effectively.

Moreover, customer service representatives then may not have the information they need to resolve customer problems quickly.

Finally, silos within an organization can prevent departments from working together to meet customer needs. Each department may have its own goals and objectives that do not align with customer needs.

Examples of Customer Centric organizations

Netflix, Amazon and Uber are customer centric organizations because they focus on customer needs and wants.

They are constantly innovating and changing their offerings to better meet customer needs.

Netflix, for example, changed its business model to streaming movies and TV shows instead of renting DVDs by mail. This change allowed them to be more customer-centric by offering what customers wanted without having to go to a video store.

Amazon changed its business model by selling books online rather than through physical bookstores. This change allowed them to be more customer-centric by offering what customers wanted without having to go to a bookstore.

Implementing customer centricity in your organization

Getting excited? That makes complete sense. A customer centric approach builds loyalty with your existing customers and strengthens relationships with new ones.

But how do you tackle this? We explain how to become a customer centric organization.

1. Define what customer centricity means to your organization.

When defining customer centricity, it is important to have a clear understanding of what you mean by the term. Many companies think it is enough to just focus on customer satisfaction, but that is not enough. To become customer centric, you need to focus on the customer’s wants and needs and combine them with your CRM data.

To get this right, there are a number of techniques and studies you can use:

Customer segmentation: by dividing your customers based on their buying habits, interests or involvement, for example, you get a better understanding of their wants and needs.

Customer profiling: by collecting data about your customers (for example, their demographics, behavior and psychographic profile), you get to know them better and understand better what they need.

Predictive analytics: with predictive analytics, you predict how a particular group of customers will react to a particular situation or campaign. This allows you to take targeted actions to persuade them.

Above all, involve your existing customers in your process. They can provide you with feedback. You can do surveys as well as interviews with different parties. This gives a little more depth.

2. Stay abreast of trends in the market

The market is constantly changing and before you know it, your business is far from reality. Customer centric companies always have their feet in the clay and invest time in following the market and focusing on customer behavior.

3. Train your employees on the importance of customer centricity

A customer centric organization starts internally, with your own people. After all, they need to know how to deal with your customer’s wants and needs. It is essential that you give them proper training, because the way they interact with your customer largely determines how customer centric you are.

Some things you can do:

– Give them a clear definition of customer centricity so they know what you mean by the term.

– Teach them how to apply customer segmentation and customer profiling to better understand customer needs.

– Train them in predictive data analysis to better understand how a particular group of customers will respond to a situation or campaign.

– Give them training in creating a positive experience for the customer throughout their customer journey.

When recruiting new employees, it is also important that they fit into the customer centric culture. Make sure you adjust your recruiting accordingly and put the focus on recruiting customer centric colleagues.

4. Encourage employees to provide customer service feedback

One of the best ways to learn what works and what doesn’t is to ask your employees for feedback. Encourage them to provide customer satisfaction feedback, both positive and negative. This is how you gain insight into the customer experience from their perspective

You can do this in several ways:

  • Through surveys;
  • Create a forum where your employees can discuss their problems and challenges;
  • Hold spa sessions.

5. Makes sure your customer service is kick ass

Your customer service is the direct link between your organization and your customers, so it’s important that it meets their expectations. In other words, make sure your customer service is customer centric. That means offering the customer what he needs, when he needs it, in the way he wants it.

6. Make sure you offer an omnichannel experience

Omnichannel customer service is the new standard in customer service. It provides your customers with a consistent experience regardless of the channel they use to communicate with you.

Some of the benefits of omnichannel customer service are:

  • Improved customer satisfaction: studies have shown that customers are more satisfied with omnichannel customer service than with traditional customer service.
  • Increased loyalty: by providing a consistent and satisfying customer journey, you increase customer loyalty.
  • More sales: by providing a better experience, you increase the likelihood that customers will buy from you again.

But how do you apply omnichannel experience?

There are several things you can do:

Make sure your contact channels (website, phone, social media, etc.) are integrated into one tool so that customer data is transferred seamlessly between them.

In addition, use the same language and tone across all channels, so your customer has the same experience every touch point.

Train your employees in providing omnichannel customer service. This means giving them the skills to interact with customers across multiple channels and understand customer needs across those contact channels.

6. Use data to better understand your customers

Data is a valuable asset in customer centricity. It can help you better understand your customers and their needs. Use data analytics to segment your customer base, understand customer behavior and predict customer response to campaigns.

7. Put your customer first in everything you do

When making decisions, always ask yourself “what is best for the customer?” This simple question can help keep you focused on creating a positive experience. Remember that if you don’t put your customer first, someone else will.

8. Continually strive to improve the customer experience

Your customer experience is never “finished.” There is always room for improvement. Use customer feedback to identify areas where you can develop. Then make a plan to address those areas.

9. Measure your success

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Customer centricity should be measured in terms of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and lifetime value. By measuring these things, you can see how well you are doing in terms of creating a positive customer journey.

There are several ways to measure customer satisfaction, including the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

The NPS is a measure of customer loyalty that measures customers’ willingness to recommend your company to others. It is calculated by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your company on a scale of 0-10.

The CSAT is a customer satisfaction measure that measures customer satisfaction with a specific interaction or experience. It is calculated by asking customers how satisfied they were with a particular interaction on a scale of 1-5.

10. Be patient

Building a customer centric organization takes time. It is a journey, not a destination. Don’t expect to achieve customer centricity overnight.

Be patient and focus on taking small steps that over time will lead to big changes.

Customer centricity is the key to success in today’s customer-driven world. By putting your customer at the center of everything you do, you can create a competitive advantage that will help you win in the long run.

This is how you measure success

Although different organizations will use different measures of customer success to assess customer centricity, the three most important ones to keep a constant eye on are churn rate, Net Promoter Score and customer lifetime value (CLV).

1. Churn rate

Acquiring new customers is harder than keeping your current customers. That’s why more companies are investing in retaining existing customers rather than trying to find new ones.

Why?

  • Acquiring new customers can cost up to 5 times more than retaining existing customers
  • A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as a 10% cost savings.
  • On average, companies lose about 10% of their customer base each year (also known as customer churn).

Companies with high retention rates grow faster.

The key to improving retention rates is understanding why people leave, and why people remain customers.

According to Call Miner’s Churn Index Report, $35.3 billion is lost annually due to customers unexpectedly switching brands. This could be avoided if companies were aware of the triggers that cause such behavior. Indeed, customers are more likely to leave companies when:

  • There is no knowledgeable customer service that can respond to customer needs by listening emphatically and addressing a problem and then resolving it quickly.
  • Not offer companies automated self-service, such as a knowledge base, to solve problems themselves.
  • They do not feel rewarded for their loyalty, while new customers receive onboarding benefits and bonuses.

You calculate your churn by measuring the number of customers who left in the last 12 months divided by the average number of total customers (in the same period).

2. Net Promoter Score

Are your customers happy? How do you measure customer happiness?

The answer is with the NPS.

NPS, or Net Promoter Score, focuses on uncovering customer loyalty by asking just one, simple question: how likely are you to recommend [bedrijf] to friends or colleagues?

After a customer answers this question, their answer is then ordered based on predetermined standards:

  • Promoters (9-10): These people are in love with your product or service and are likely to refer you to potential buyers. The customers who give you a 9 or 10 are repeat customers and will have a high customer lifetime value.
  • Passives (7-8): These people who give you a 7 or 8 are satisfied with being customers of your company, but are most likely to switch to a competitor should they find a new or better product.
  • Detractors (0-6): These people are not happy with your product or service and are likely to damage your brand reputation by sharing their negative experience with their friends, family and connections.

The more Promoters you have, the healthier your business. It’s as simple as that.

And the fact that it is easy to apply and measure makes the NPS a favorite of corporate boards and executive committees.

3. Customer lifetime value (CLV).

For a customer centric company, its most valuable “asset” is its customer base.

If you invest in long-term relationships, you can calculate the “health” of the relationship with customer lifetime value, or CLV.

CLV is a metric used to determine how much revenue a customer generates over the course of their relationship with your company. It starts when they make their first purchase and ends after their last transaction.

To calculate CLV, add up the total income you earned and multiply that by the duration of the business relationship. Then subtract the initial cost to recruit them.

For example, if a customer spends 1,000 euros annually, and the average “lifespan” of a customer is 10 years, then multiply 1,000 by 10 years (10,000). Now subtract the acquisition cost (in this case we take 1000), and the CLV is 9000.

Calculating CLV helps you understand why it makes sense to invest in retaining your customers.

This is how to become a customer centric organization

To be customer centric, it is essential to have the various aspects that make up customer value.

The most valuable customers are those who are loyal and provide repeat business. Focusing on creating a positive experience will help you attract and retain these customers.

However, customer focus is not an easy goal to achieve. It requires patience and dedication. But you get sales and loyal customers in return, so it’s definitely worth it.

Want to spar about your processes? Then request a free consultation where we focus on your customer contact center. That always makes you smarter!