When you hear any Entrepreneur talking about the importance of addressing customer concerns, a sales focussed mindset tends to be the position and business focus. However, it should be considered that a Customer-Centric focus would achieve better Customer satisfaction.
The biggest challenge is that most of the commonly followed metrics are mainly sales-oriented and most businesses unquestionably accept them as their core guiding metrics. Well, while these metrics are still useful, an array of customer-centric metrics play equally an important role.
Sales focus: the good, the bad and the ugly
There are many organisations that are characteristically sales-centric. Generally, these organisations focus on two objectives as their guiding principles, respectively the goal of reaching sales target and enhancing the gross market share through increased sales. While it is quite normal to go for these two objectives, but when these objectives are chased upon at the cost of customer service and customer satisfaction, it undermines the brand reputation.
Thus sales-focused organisations often miss on the opportunities of meeting evolving customer demands and generating customer satisfaction. On the other hand, customer-centric organisations simply focus on customer satisfaction first. They consider sales and business growth as the necessary outcomes of their continuous customer-focused business operation. By contributing to customer satisfaction on a day-in and day-out basis they want to achieve sales growth.
The typical sales focus can just fit into the scheme of things of a customer-centric organisation while always prioritising customer service and customer satisfaction. When the sales-focus only follows the customer-centricity in an organisation, the ideal balance required for steady growth is achieved. Whether you are a mobile development company or a consumer durable brand, the simple principle holds true for every company irrespective of the niche or category.
Key principles of customer centricity
A customer-centric organisation stands apart from the vast majority of sales-focused organisations on many accounts. Here are the key principles.
- Products and services crafted following a rigorous research on audience and users.
- Simplicity and ease of use are given priority in design principles.
- Feedback channels are integrated into the business process and all user interfaces.
- Scopes of personalised user experience are frequently tested and tried to address specific customer needs and demands.
- Rigorous testing and evaluation of the products in respect of customer satisfaction is regularly carried out.
- User-generated contents are frequently integrated into the content strategy of the respective product or service.
- To meet the evolving needs and trends of user experience, frequent updates are rolled out with respective enhancements.
3 Pillars of a customer-centric organisation
The customer-centric mindset that rules vast majority of successful organisations across the niches, characteristically have the above-mentioned traits. Apart from these, there are certain principles every customer-centric company follow. Let us try to explain them.
1. Customer-centric Message
A customer-centric organisation goes deeper than just good customer service. A customer-centric company whether it belongs to B2B or B2C category always comes with a specific customer-centric brand message.
Let me explain some of the key elements of a successful customer-centric brand message.
- Narrate a story: When explaining the benefits of your products, instead of using technical terms and jargons, explain the benefits through real-life examples or contexts.
- Create a social circle with your brand message: It is also important to create a social personality of your brand that feels real just like a breathing and talking man.
- Stay alert, proactive and responsive: Your presence should always be alert, responsive and proactive to customer interactions. You need to adjust your messages and evolve with as the contexts and users demand.
2. Help customers remain in charge
The second biggest principle of customer-centric organisation is to allow customers more autonomy in communications and transactions. Help customers remain in charge while they interact with your business or browse your products.
- Give customers more choices to help them feel at ease.
- Allow them to exercise their choices through personalised theme selection and look and feel.
- Don’t force your marketing message upon the customers. Let them choose when and how they like to interact with your business. The personalised notification is a nice example of this.
- As per the user data on their preferences, habits, history of purchase, adjust your interactions and messages for individual communication.
3. Create value for loyal customers
For any business, loyal customers make the most important treasure trove. But if you fail to nurture the relationship and give your loyal customers some credit for their association with the brand, you can lose them in the long run. This is why a customer-centric organisation has to come with a specific loyalty program for its entrusted customers.
Customer-centric companies are never sales focused but they achieve better sales and customer engagement simply by orienting all their strategies and activities with customer benefits. Being open and responsive to customer demands and needs is the hallmark of such organisations.