According to this CMO Council report, 14 percent of marketers claim that customer-centricity is the epicenter of their companies but sadly only 11 percent believe their customers agree. But the good thing is that you’re here and you’ve decided to take a step back to reevaluate your approach to provide excellent customer service and build a more customer-centric business.
Business owners have good intentions. They want to make sure that they’re able to provide the best service or product to their customers and make them happy. However, in the process of doing this, they miss the mark and veer off to be more sales-driven or product-focused than making it all about the customer.
That’s where this article comes in. In this article, I want to personally hold your hand and show you the exact areas you need to work on to transform your business into one that is more customer-centric.
1. Deploy empathy towards your customer
What if I told you that only 38 percent of consumers in the U.S. say that the employees they interact with actually understand their needs?
How many times have you walked into a department store looking for an item only to get rebuffed by an uninterested salesperson who would rather watch Netflix than attend to you? I’m sure you have at least once in your entire life.
Empathy requires you to be genuinely concerned about your customer and be present to meet their needs. When you or your employees don’t deploy empathy, it turns your customers off. Why? Because they feel they’re not wanted – and maybe even hurt. That’s why you get angry customers and worse, bad reviews.
What should you do?
You need to make empathy an integral part of your business operations. To achieve this is a lot easier than you think. All you need to do is:
• Understand your customer in order to identify their emotional needs with regards to what you offer, and
• Immediately meet those needs (with grace and politeness).
It’s not just about offering services or products anymore. It’s about having a genuine interest in what your customer’s needs are and making a conscious effort to meet them every time.
2. Acquiring customer-oriented employees (or at least train your employees to be more customer-conscious)
Let’s face it: you’re the business owner, but you can’t personally attend to all your customers. That’s why you hired people to help do that for you, while you focus on other areas of the business that need your attention. But when was the last time you checked how conscious employees were about your customers? To build a customer-centric business, you need to get everyone on board. Both the new and the old employees need to key into this new vision.
What should you do?
Be more intentional in your hiring process. Hire people who have some level of understanding of your target customer. In addition to this, check the kind of attitude they have. The truth is that you may hire someone who understands the customer but doesn’t have the right attitude to give them that Triple-A service.
As for the employees you already have working for you, train them on the best practices of handling customers.
3. Make customer insights accessible to your employees
It is not enough to use a CRM software that will give you more insight about your customers. You’ve got to start making the data you got is accessible by all your employees?
If you want your employees to be more customer-centric then you need to let them know about who your customers are and how their behavior or reaction has been to the product or services you offer over time. The data to get from all those tools will give your employees a deeper insight into how they can serve your customers better.
What should you do?
Start by compiling the data you acquire from the tools you use and put them in a report and make it available to everyone who works for you. Don’t have data you can use to get more insight into your target customer? No problem. You can start small with surveys. Get your customers to fill out short surveys and record the results of the survey in a spreadsheet.
The idea is to have all the data in one place that will be easy for everyone to pick up and know at a glance what needs to be done to improve customer service.
Time to get customer-centric!
It’s great to be sales-driven or product-focused but the real long team perks are in making your business more customer-centric. It’s all about the customer. You might have caught on with the secret behind being a customer-centric business – it’s in putting the needs, concerns, and desires of your customer first before anything else. It makes them feel special, it endears your business to them and is a sure way of turning them to loyal brand ambassadors.
Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. It requires re-orientation, switches in strategy and a change of heart.
Now that you know the keys you can’t ignore, which key will you start using first on your journey to creating a customer-centric business?