The 5 Habits of Customer-Centric Companies

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We all have a set of set of books that we have read or plan to read for professional development in our industry, and if you’re a Chief Customer Officer, Customer Service Manager, Customer Service Representative – or CEO, CMO, CIO or CFO for that matter – you may be reading up on how customer experience is becoming the competitive differentiator for many leading brands over even product or price. According to a recent Temkin Group Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2014 report:

  • 63% of companies expect to spend significantly more or somewhat more on customer experience in 2014 than they did in 2013.
  • 51% of companies plan to increase the staffing of their centralized customer experience team in 2014
  • 78% of companies plan on dedicating significantly more or somewhat more effort to improving their web experience in 2014
  • And 84% of companies expect to increase their focus on customer experience measurements and metrics.

So, if your brand isn’t focusing on customer-centricity, it’s time to start doing some research into how to get things going. Bob Thompson, CEO of the research and publishing firm CustomerThink, has a new book out, called Hooked on Customers: The Five Habits of Legendary Customer-Centric Companies that will serve as a stepping stone for brands of all sizes or individuals or teams with a focus on customer-centricity. He notes that the book is the result of 15 years of research, collaboration and thinking about what makes legendary customer-centric companies tick, so the highlights of Thompson’s 15 years of study are well worth a few days of reading.

What are the five habits that Bob believes help customer-centric companies succeed? Here they are, with some food for thought to see if your brand’s as customer-centric as the legendary brands showcased in the book:

  1. They Listen. For example, they ask about the drivers of their customers’ loyalty. They use both solicited and unsolicited feedback. They follow their customers’ digital behavior. They don’t just listen; they take action of what they’ve heard from customers.
  2. They Think. They employ business leaders who have the skills to interpret analytics and make decisions. They take advantage of unstructured information. They track both past-performance perspective, real-time and predictive metrics.
  3. They Empower. They give employees real authority to invest in customer relationships. They have a customer culture that puts both customers and employees first. They use technologies to improve access to information, support and resources.
  4. They Create. They make innovation part of the corporate culture. They make creating value a habit.
  5. They Delight. They train, empower and reward employees for delighting customers. They understand what delights, and they use innovation to keep delighting.

How exactly do the legendary customer-centric companies do all these things? That’s where you’ll have to read the book. Congratulations and thanks, Bob, for a treasure trove of insights for all of us who believe in the power of customer-centricity to elevate a brand or organization.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.

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