Customer Centricity: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Improve Yours
Haven't thought about it before? Now's the time to learn all you can.
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"The customer is always right" may feel like a cliche, but it highlights a crucial component of doing business: making customer experience your company's primary focus.
While the expression isn't meant to be taken literally, more and more businesses are adopting a customer-centric business strategy to create stronger connections that lead to lasting brand growth. Understanding its importance and applying it to your company's practices can help define your company's success.
So what is customer centricity?
Customer centricity is simply the idea that a business puts its customers first; they are literally at the "center" of everything the business does. Every decision is done with the customer in mind, considering whether it will help create a positive experience for them.
In basic terms, being customer-centric means that the business understands that it wouldn't even exist without its clients. By making them the focus, the business seeks to improve loyalty, creating long-term financial stability.
Why customer centricity matters
Research from KPMG reveals that 88% of CEOs are "concerned" about customer loyalty — and making your business truly customer-centric is the best way to achieve lasting loyalty.
Research reveals that existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products from a brand they know and trust. They will also spend 31% more than new customers. A customer-centric business maximizes its potential for client retention by using every possible avenue to create a positive experience from that initial interaction.
Embracing the right culture
So, how can your business ensure that it creates positive, customer-centric experiences with each client interaction? Much of it begins with the company's culture. As Steve Grau, founder and CEO of Royal Ambulance, explained to me via email, Hospital delays and overflow caused by the pandemic have made what is already a stressful experience even more so. In these times of crisis, having an empathetic, mission-driven person to connect with patients sitting in the back of an ambulance can make all the difference in helping them feel calm and cared for."
A culture that emphasizes customer needs at all levels will create more positive experiences.
Essential practices for improving customer centricity
Of course, creating a customer-centric business requires more than just a desire to provide positive brand interactions. To ensure that your culture becomes truly customer-centric, start by hiring talent that is dedicated to providing a stellar customer experience. Help your team understand that you are trying to develop mutually beneficial relationships with your customers.
This can help frame many of your goals and initiatives in a more customer-friendly light. For example, reducing wait times isn't just about increasing support team productivity; it creates a better experience when customers need extra assistance, which can greatly lower your churn rate and number of complaints.
Ensuring that needed customer data is available to team members across departments can also improve outcomes for your team. When everyone is on the same page regarding customer needs (whether still a lead, in the midst of onboarding or resolving a complaint), you can provide more efficient and effective service.
Much of customer centricity ultimately comes down to being available for your customers and doing everything you can to make them happy about their interactions with your company.
Become customer-centric today
Yes, your business needs to make a profit. But at the end of the day, focusing exclusively on your company's bottom line isn't always going to translate to the best outcomes for your customers.
By putting their needs first and prioritizing their experience with your brand, you will create a true win-win situation. When clients get what they need, they'll stick around for the long haul, and your brand growth will ultimately be directly related to your customer centricity.