21 July 2015

How to truly put your customer at the centre of your business

Tags:CRM, Strategy, UX, CX

Everyone talks about being customer-centric, but few are actually doing it. To achieve true customer-centricity, your organisation must both enact cultural change and master empathy – not just collect data.

Research highlights that creating a customer-centric organisation leads to better value and service for your customers. As a result, customer satisfaction is higher, and your customers are more likely to advocate for – and buy from – your brand.

Cultural change

For your organisation to truly embrace customer-centricity, your company’s culture needs to change, starting with your people and their job descriptions. Employees need to be empowered, and not just by replacing current tasks with digital ones. This is why a digital-transformation strategy is so important. It empowers – not replaces – people.

All organisations exist to deliver value to their customers. However, internal structures can hamper a customer-centric culture from within. Traditionally, companies have been organised around functional areas. And too often, silos exist between these different functions, which can create discontinuities in your customer’s experience.

We’re starting to see organisations restructuring employees around their customers and implementing human touchpoints to combat these silos. The rise of the role of ‘Chief Customer Officer’ is the beginning of this way of thinking – a role that makes it someone’s job to think about the customer.

Consistency across channels and customer lifecycle

Orienting around your customer means thinking about your customer’s experience with your organisation throughout their entire lifecycle: brand awareness, their buying process, their using process (customer support), and their rebuying stage (buying more or buying again). Again, this is where the importance of adding human elements to digital channels comes in.

Cross-channel continuity means that your customers can come into the organisation at one human touchpoint and continue seamlessly through another, always getting a consistent message no matter who they’re dealing with within your organisation.

In this way, customer-centricity permeates your entire organisation and becomes a vital part of how your employees work.

It’s wise to empathise

The other key to customer-centricity is empathy. This is the ability of your organisation to truly put itself in the customer’s shoes in order to understand and respond to what the customer needs and how they want to receive information – both now and in the future.

With the customer at the forefront of every decision your organisation makes, you’ll succeed at meeting not only the customer’s goals, but also your own business objectives.

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