When you’re running a business, it’s often hard to shift your focus from raising your bottom line to improving how customers feel about your business.
A customer-centric business approach is much more strategic than trying to increase revenue, and it is also harder to plan and implement. However, nurturing and improving your customer experience is a sure way to grow your business and revenue.
Customers want to be understood and treated well so that they can buy from a brand. According to Oracle, as many as 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.
For you to multiply your customer base and grow your business, you need to invest more resources into implementing a customer-centric business model. You need to make your customers feel that you understand them and value their success more than their credit cards.
Here are five simple ways you can be more customer-centric.
1. Use content marketing to engage and educate your customers
When you’re using content marketing to increase your customer reach, the focus needs to shift from your brand and your products to the needs and wants of the customers.
Customer-centric content marketing is focused on the consistent creation and distribution of relevant and valuable to a specific audience. Let’s face it; no one searches for company bios and product descriptions. Customers are looking for content that helps them solve an issue or that answers their questions.
As such, create all your content with your customer in mind. Know their pain points and needs, and then use this information to create content that helps them achieve their goals. In doing so, you’re not only boosting your credibility but also showing customers that you care about their needs and understand them.
You should also consider hiring a content marketer or SEO specialist to help you. The right expert will help you create a laser-focused marketing strategy that is relevant to the specific audience that you’re trying to reach.
For example, when you’re running a business in Germany, and are targeting a specific audience in the country, German SEO consultants would come in handy since they have an expert grasp of the population. Similarly, when you are targeting an audience in another country, local consultants may offer more value compared to foreign help. Choose expert help wisely.
2. Maintain consistent communication with your customers
Regular communication is the key to the success of every relationship.
When you are trying to deliver a positive customer experience, you have to communicate with your customers at every stage of their journey. Communicating with your customers allows to you to know more about them so that you can serve them better.
A few years ago, you’d have gotten away with very little interaction between you and your customers. But today customers only buy from businesses that they can communicate with. They have more questions than before, and they need answers before they can make a purchase.
Customer communication should be a two-way street. You listen to your customers as they tell you their stories and frustrations, while you try to help them in every way you can. However, at the end of the day, you have to analyze the communication, so that you can see what sort of insight can be gained from the interaction.
To interact with your customers today, start engaging with them in social media, email and live chat. Talking to them will give you the insight you need to serve them better.
3. Boost brand loyalty with discounts and promotions
In your quest to more customer-centric, the experience you give your customers is the most important metric to monitor.
You need to be able to deliver a positive customer experience that leaves your customers ready to buy from you again and to feel confident when they’re referring you to their friends.
Incentivizing or rewarding your customers boosts their perception of your business and shows them that you care about them. According to ConvinceandConvert, 75% of consumers report scouring their inboxes just to look for relevant discounts. Offering your customer discounts and promotions on your products might be the missing link to the success of your quest to be more customer-centric.
To get an idea of how promotions work, Timothy Kim, founder of Tubofcash.com, has given more than $10,000 in cash as giveaways to his customers. His giveaways have endeared him to his customers, giving him hundreds of thousands of followers and loyal fans.
Be smart today and start endearing yourself to your customers by giving them discounts and free giveaways of some of your products.
4. Make customers part of the journey
The key to a customer-centric business model is focusing on your customers’ success.
And while you need to know your customers to serve them well, you need to gather data first to understand them.
Many times, we are tempted to create products and services that we think will work. But you should always stop and ask what your customers think about your products and services. Are they helping them as intended? Is your customer service good enough? Are there areas you can improve?
Your customers have the answers to these questions. You should get these answers by asking your customers for feedback. You can gather customer feedback using surveys, monitoring customer comments, communities, groups, and by observing your communications with each customer.
Always keep in mind that data is only useful if it helps you improve. Don’t correct customer feedback and then sit on it. Make changes to your business that are shaped by your customers’ needs and wants. And let them know that they helped you serve them better.
5. Personalize your interaction with every customer
Did you know that more than 50% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications with them?
The only way to become a customer-centric business is to handle your customers as individuals with unique needs, pain points, and preferences. You cannot treat all your customers in the same way, or else you risk losing half of your customer base.
To get started with personalization, you need to interact with your customers using multiple marketing channels then collect as much data about your customers as you can from each of these marketing channels. Afterwards, you can use that data to know more about each customer and learn their preferences so that you can personalize your interactions.
To get results efficiently, consider investing in CRM software that will help you collect and integrate customer data from multiple channels and then help you segment your customers based on their preferences.
Being a fully customer-centric business is easier said than done. It takes a lot of commitment and work. And depending on your current situation, you may experience slowed progress as your staff learns how to be more customer-centric.
Although these five strategies can help you get there, it takes more than knowing them to get results. You must be willing to invest the time and resources needed to start engaging with your customers and finding new and creative ways to serve them better.
The key is to start small, and then improve your methods as you grow; measure your successes and optimize the process.