More than just adopting the old saying, “The customer is always right”, building a real customer-centric culture takes hard work and dedication. But the benefits are certainly worth the effort. Around 66% of people consider customer service to be a dealbreaker when purchasing a product. Most people have had a bad customer experience in their lives, and generally, it’s the last time you engage with that company.
Let’s consider how you can build a customer-centric mindset for your business.
Why is customer-centric culture important?
In a world where social media is such a huge part of people’s lives, it’s no longer acceptable for brands to just scrape by with the bare minimum. Reputations can be damaged so easily online, especially for local businesses. Also, simply offering good prices is no longer enough.
People want to engage with a brand and connect with it. They want to know what you stand for as a business. Plus, the business landscape is so incredibly competitive with many alternatives for customers. In that sense, business success now depends even more heavily on the customer experience.
How to build a customer-centric culture
To build a customer-centric culture, everybody needs to be involved. From upper management to your customer support staff, it’s about having strong communication and messaging on a consistent basis. Here are some tips for becoming more customer-focused.
Set your company values and philosophy
Creating a culture of any type starts at the top. So, if you want to build a customer-centric culture, your management team needs to make this part of their mission. Once you have an established philosophy or purpose, it should inform everything you do.
Not only is this beneficial for business planning and maintaining your employees’ focus on the customer, but customers themselves can see your philosophy and identify with it. Remember, many customers in the modern world want to connect with brands they share the same values and beliefs with.
Place emphasis on customer feedback
One of the biggest parts of becoming more customer-focused as an organisation is understanding your audience. If you don’t know what your customers want, it’s very difficult to provide the best experience for them. Luckily, you don’t have to be a mind reader to know what they’re looking for.
Using customer feedback is integral, and can be done in a variety of ways. Customer surveys are a good source of information, as well as other forms of market research. How you collect customer feedback isn’t the most important thing though – it’s what you do with that feedback. Taking action based on customer concerns, suggestions and feedback is a great way to show that you’re genuinely customer-focused.
Use technology to your advantage
Technology can become the backbone of a customer-centric business when used correctly. Firstly, there is the technology that helps you connect better with customers. Find out how they most like to engage with your brand, such as through social media, messaging services, live chat, or phone. Ideally, you should set as many touch points as possible to capture more customers’ preferences.
Secondly, there is the technology you use internally to manage customers. Consider implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system. CRMs such as HubSpot, Zoho, Salesforce and many others are designed to capture all customer information in one place so that your staff can help them more effectively. Plus, it can also provide valuable reports and analysis to help improve your business.
Finally, it’s important to take a flexible approach when dealing with customers. Each customer has different needs, so if you try to fit all of them into a specific set of workflows or silos, it’s likely they won’t all get what they need from you. If your customer interactions all need to conform to your own strict guidelines, the focus is clearly on making life easier for you, and customers can see that.
Rather, be flexible with your customer interactions, because this turns the focus back to their needs and their experience, rather than yours. Ultimately, that’s exactly what a good customer experience looks like.
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