A customer-centric culture is one where the focus is on the customer – both at the point of sale and post-sale. Ensuring that the customer has a positive experience is at the heart of such a culture. Employees and managers in such a culture make sure that they help in creating customer value. This would involve putting the customer at the core of the business. Knowing the customer, his needs and unfulfilled needs help build this culture.
Brands that are customer-centric are passionate and believe in putting the customer first. They understand that a business cannot survive without its customers. They try to see through the customers’ eyes. They are committed to building relationships, to connecting with customers at an emotional level. They have a well-formulated strategy to gain new customers and improve brand loyalty among existing ones. By putting the customer at the core of the business, the Customer Experience Management (CEM) software creates a wealth of information. Analyzing this data would give a 360-degree view of the customer, which can then be used to improve customer experience.
Being a customer-centric organization means ensuring that the customer has a great experience at every touch point. With the tools available today, it is not that difficult to accomplish this. The following steps would help in developing a customer centric culture:
- Creating clarity about the organization’s customer experience(CX) policy.
Analyzing customer feedback helps a company understand the customer’s expectation. It could act as a basis for developing the company’s CX policy. Once developed, it should be defined clearly and should be communicated to all employees.
- Make customer-centricity an important part of hiring and training.
Hiring people with the right attitude and training them to impart the necessary skills is an important step. The employees should internalize how being customer centric helps the organization. A ‘customer first’ belief needs to be embedded in employees across the company. Even employees with the best attitudes benefit from motivation and training. Everyone, including top management, should be part of the training. It shows other employees that the organization takes customer-centricity seriously.
- Encourage employees to ‘Listen’.
Listening to customers is integral to being customer-centric. Customers need to feel that they are being heard. Customer feedback is essential to any organization that wants to better themselves. Improving customer experience would be very difficult without knowing the customers’ opinion. Employees must be educated on the importance of customer feedback and how they need to respond to it.
- Recognize employees who do well.
Employees should be recognized and if possible rewarded; when they do well, or go out of their way to help a customer. Every person loves being appreciated. It might be the motivation that employees need to go that extra mile.
Challenges involved in developing a customer-centric business.
Customers today are extremely selective when it comes to the brands they shop from. Only organizations that can provide positive customer experiences have a future.
With the emergence of social media, power has shifted from businesses to customers. Many brands consider it a big challenge that customers are able to compare products and services online. They are also able to share their experiences with fellow customers and have the power to influence future sales.
This shift of power requires putting in place a good customer experience management solution and inculcating a customer-centric culture to create a sustainable brand.