Adopting a steady customer-centric mindset can secure substantial business gain. It contributes to building trust, credibility and a solid reputation and will reduce customer dissatisfaction. Fostering customer engagement can lead to a higher chance of customers becoming brand loyal. The more that customers trust your business, the more likely they are to refer it.
When clients talk about your company positively, your brand can rise to a top-of-mind position, and automatically have an invaluable edge over the competition. Adopting a customer-centric mindset is, therefore, one of the most beneficial efforts you can invest in.
1. Continuously Listening to Customers
Feedback is your golden ticket to becoming a customer-centric organization. Stepping back and listening to others and showing you have top-level communication skills is what really makes people feel valued. Giving your customers your undivided attention will help build long-lasting relationships with them.There are many ways you can gather feedback, including reviews, questionnaires or analyzing the raw data. But it is not enough to only collect data—customers will only feel valued when their voices have been genuinely heard.
2. Acting Proactively to Anticipate Needs
Following on from the last point, using data and looking at trends can really help anticipate the needs of your customers. Servitization, or focusing on providing better customer outcomes rather than just selling products, has become pervasive across all walks of life through predetermining customer needs through the power of big data. For example, Ocado Technology uses warehouse automation and artificial intelligence to help retailers understand what customers have purchased and what they're thinking about buying based on past purchases.
3. Building Customer Empathy Into Processes and Policies
Empathizing with your customers means putting yourself in their shoes—an essential process if you are to deliver a valuable customer experience. If you understand your customers, you’ll be well equipped to give them exactly what they need. A good way of applying this is by asking your customers for input, such as a solution that would satisfy them, on the occasion of a dissatisfied client. Validating your customers' perspectives and understanding what they expect will help you surpass their expectations.
4. Respecting Customer Privacy
Customer privacy should be of high importance to your company. Treat customers' information as if it were sacred. Adhere to data protection regulations and keep updated with when changes to regulations are implemented so you are well prepared. The recently enforced GDPR law, a provision on data protection for all individuals within the EU, is a prime example of the seriousness and importance of preserving the privacy of clients.
5. Sharing Knowledge Internally and With Customers
Being customer-centric means that the customer is your primary concern. This means helping them to the nth degree. This could include sharing insights that will help them above and beyond the product you are providing them with. An excellent way of achieving this is through newsletters or notifications through an application. Guaranteeing an easy, approachable line of communication will make sharing expertise uncomplicated.
6. Motivating Employees to Stay Engaged
Being customer-centric means fostering a culture that revolves around people. Engaging employees is essential for this to collectively work towards the same goal. An employee that feels valued and respected in the workplace will most likely be devoted to the success of the company and will want to see the business achieve its goals. For that to happen, employees must feel able to contribute to the company in a measurable way.
7. Acting Systemically to Improve the Customer Experience
Gaining customer feedback and intelligence means nothing unless you respond strategically. When you have identified how you can deliver a more efficient service, this needs to be systematically implemented to really enable a top quality customer experience.
8. Creating Accountability for Customer Experience Improvement
Accountability is crucial to not only maintain customer experience, but to constantly work towards improving it. Co-workers can practice observing how each person interacts with customers and afterwards give constructive feedback on what they thought worked well and what could be changed. Each person will have a slightly different approach, but a lot can be learned from this.
9. Adapting to Customer Demands and Circumstances
As technology advances at a rapid pace, customer demands and expectations evolve and elevate with it. It’s important to keep aware of changes to technology and implement new systems that will help streamline your processes to ensure your organization maintains it’s customer-centric ethos.