15 August 2014 – Andrew Cook
Creating a business that is focused on customer centricity can be challenging. You may need to address your business’ culture and how your employees think and act, but you’ll also need to change your customers’ collective mind-set. Perhaps, you may even need to change your own way of thinking and adapt to a new business model where the customer is the focal point.
So, how do you achieve a culture of customer centricity within your organisation?
Understanding the customer journey
What are the critical touchpoints that a customer will encounter with your organisation? Are there additional, unnecessary layers or protocols that are preventing your customer from achieving what he/she needs from you?
Through customer journey mapping, you can find out how customers are experiencing their interactions with your company, from their perspective. Would they rank you highly for customer centricity? This will allow you to understand your operations better, and present the opportunity to improve and become more customer-centric.
Commitment to customer centricity
To generate loyalty and enthusiasm among customers, you need to ensure that they experience the best possible interactions with your business. If your organisation runs a call centre, for example, you need to make sure that customer centricity is high on the agenda and is infused in your value proposition. If queries disappear into the Black Hole of Calcutta, your customer will feel unappreciated and undervalued.
Valuing customer feedback
When you ask customers what they think, you need to listen and ensure the feedback forms a part of future plans. Customer feedback is crucial to customer centricity, and should be utilised to find out where the business is doing something right and wrong.
At the same time, surveys need to ask the right questions and extract vital information; therefore, they need to be well-prepared, concise and relevant.
Knowing your customer
Think of the average telemarketing call. Nine times out of ten, the person on the other side of the call is offering you a service that you already have, or don’t need. This is because there is no knowledge of you as a customer, or of what you already have, what you like and need? Throwing something against the wall and hoping it sticks isn’t going to make your organisation appear to have customer centricity at its heart.
Knowing your customer ties back to customer feedback. Get to know them and add value to their lives – not just sales.
Transform your staff’s attitude to customer centricity
Let’s face it: when your staff feel unappreciated, it will reflect in their work and general attitude toward customer centricity. This is why customer centricity needs to be entrenched from the bottom of the totem pole right through to the top.
At the end of the day, everyone is a customer every single day, and the adage: “Treat others as you would like to be treated” rings true for your staff too. A positive attitude is infectious and will go a long way to improving relations. Encourage office behaviour that reflects customer centricity, such as engaging respectfully, greeting each other warmly and offering tea/coffee – regardless of your position or title in the company.
Customer centricity is an ongoing process for any organisation. It should be refined, retuned and adapted as the business grows. Nonetheless, your business should always remain accessible, responsive, empathetic and cohesive to your customers’ needs.