Being a customer-centric organization means putting the needs and wants of your customers at the center of your business operations.
We are often asked what it means to be a customer-centric organization.
When Do You Know You Are Customer-Centric Organization?
A company can be considered truly customer-centric by understanding a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors. Here are some signs that a company is on the path to being customer-centric:
High customer satisfaction:
The interactions with customers come up with high predicted ratings along with high ratings on customer satisfaction surveys. Customer sentiment from interactions is tending better along with customers reporting positive experiences with the company's products or services.
Proactive customer engagement:
The company regularly reaches out to customers for feedback and actively listens to and addresses their concerns or suggestions. The company knows issues before it happens. The company understands trends of problems that are happening and is able to notify customers of risks and plan to remediate them.
The company's decision-making process is driven by a desire to meet the needs of customers, rather than solely by financial considerations.
Employees are trained, have the tools, and are empowered to make decisions that benefit customers. They are rewarded for delivering great customer service.
The company uses data and analytics to understand customer needs and preferences and understand the pulse of the customer, the ability to say a story to the rest of the company to bring them along.
The company is committed to ongoing improvements in customer service and regularly implements new strategies to enhance the customer experience.
It's important to note that becoming a truly customer-centric organization is an ongoing process, it can take time and continuous effort from the leadership team and all the employees, and it requires constant adaptation to changing customer needs and preferences and regular feedback and measurement of the effectiveness of the strategies.
Best Practices to Become a Customer-Centric Organization
Here are a few practices on how to become one:
Understand this is a journey.
A sherpa once told me on a hike in Bhutan - think of it as one step in front of another. Take small steps. Enjoy and celebrate the journey as well as the destination. Set smaller milestones and goals to achieve. A good first step that we see - I want to take care of employees first and help them with tools that my support team needs.
Use your product
You have to feel what the customer feels. Meet the customer where they are at. B2C companies do this well - eg., bicycle company execs using the bike every day. At Ascendo, we use Ascendo to support our customers. From day 1. We feel the same joy, pain and growth that our customers see.
Say a story
As a support lead, you ARE the voice of the customer for the product. Don't just rely on metrics that may only capture one side of the picture or may not be real time. Your product is changing and is becoming complex. So are your deployments and integrations. Look at data across customer interactions and bring out that story so you can prioritize what is really important and bring the rest of the company along with you.
Strategies Helpful for Customer-centric Organization
Here are some strategies that can help:
Understand your customers:
Conduct research to understand your customers' demographics, preferences, pain points, and goals. Use this information to create buyer personas and tailor your products, services, and messaging to their needs.
Listen to feedback:
Encourage customers to share their feedback and make it easy for them to do so. Use customer feedback to identify areas for improvement and make changes to your products, services, or processes accordingly.
Empower your employees:
Make sure your employees are trained on the importance of customer service and are empowered to make decisions that benefit the customer. Encourage them to think about the customer's perspective when making decisions and to take ownership of resolving customer issues.
Personalize your interactions:
Use the information you have about your customers to personalize your interactions with them, whether it's through targeted marketing, personalized product recommendations, or tailored customer service.
Continuously monitor and measure your customer satisfaction, and use the feedback to identify opportunities for improvement. Continuously test and implement new ideas to improve the overall customer experience.
Lead from the top:
Make sure that the leadership team is committed to being customer-centric and creating a culture of customer service throughout the organization. Encourage them to engage with customers and actively listen and respond to their feedback.
Being a customer-centric organization is an ongoing process. It is essential to frequently review and update the strategies in order to keep up with the changing customer needs and preferences.