Balancing Growth & A Customer-Centric Culture

A report revealed that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not focused on the customer

In today's Experience Economy, there is no better differentiator than customer experience. To stand out and thrive in this hyper-competitive industry, you must build experiences that delight customers. That makes consumers want to keep coming back to your brand.

As the global market is constantly evolving and expanding, so are the competition and the consumers’ needs. A business’ growth, thus, is defined when it’s moving along with the market, and that’s only possible if it follows a customer-centric culture. Research by Deloitte and Touche found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not focused on the customer, and 64% of companies with a customer-focused CEO are more profitable than their competitors. Therefore, it's not hard to see that business and customer acquisition is no longer about bragging about your product or your company. Companies that prioritise their consumers may give a great customer experience throughout their journey. Hence, the main focus is now on customers, their experience and success.

But what is a customer-centric culture?

A business approach in which organisations spend time understanding their customers by receiving feedback, articulating and analysing their customers' pain points and projected advantages and empathising with them. They then apply this knowledge to create improved consumer experiences.

Companies are now focusing on improving customer satisfaction, retention, customer lifetime value, and their potential for upselling and cross-selling by putting consumers at the core of their organisation.

How can one create a customer-centric strategy?

1. Hire for customer success - Employees are the front-facing workforce who shapes many of the experiences with customers. Be it operations, marketing or tech, it’s essential to focus on hiring talent that can be aligned with your customer-centric strategies of the company. During the interview process, hiring managers in alignment with the social media management & marketing team need to collaborate & ask every potential candidate a question to gauge their customer orientation.

2. Create policies & procedures around customer-centricity - With the rise of many competing brands, it’s crucial to simplify the experience of your customers, as one bad experience can drive them away. A hassle-free return & exchange policy is essential, especially in e-commerce businesses. Additionally, other practices, such as complaints procedures, feedback systems, and service standards helps businesses in gaining the confidence of today’s consumer.

3. Make customer research a routine - Building a customer-centric culture requires acquiring in-depth knowledge about your customers that goes well beyond how much they spent with you in the past year. Doing some extra homework about the customer, their industry and their competition can produce valuable business intelligence. Additionally, such knowledge can help your team discover ways to deliver exceptional “above and beyond” service and add value to each encounter.

4. Focus on what the customer wants - Integral to creating a customer-centric culture is an ongoing focus on the little things that relate to the customer’s big picture. To achieve that, you start by asking yourself, “What do my customers want?”. This will allow you to customise your customer experience, which according to McKinsey, can lead to revenue growth of 5 to 10 per cent and cost reductions of up to 15 to 25 per cent within just 2-3 years.

5. Use of CRM tools: CRM tools can be applied in gathering information, and for marketing and sales purposes, which also enables more individual interactions with customers. Development and implementation of customer information into CRM activities are keys to developing customer-centric and innovation capabilities. It also helps in personalised the customer interaction

While adopting a customer-centric culture is crucial to a business’ growth, it’s more important to constantly monitor the customer success metrics to know where & how you can improve further. Churn rate, Net Promotor Score (NPS) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) are three of the many customer success metrics used by companies.

According to a report by HubSpot, 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and more than 80% of companies who prioritise customer experience are reporting an increase in revenue. Therefore, in conclusion, the growth of a brand depends on the role it plays in the lives of its customers. The current market landscape has allowed a consumer to easily switch brands, without losing any value, and customer-centricity is one way to avoid that happening. Companies with a customer-centric perspective are increasingly moving away from simple monitoring of past events to a more intelligent approach, supported by predictive analytics and dedicated technologies. This allows individuals to think more extensively and thoughtfully about the future, allowing them to prioritise activities and spend their money more wisely.

Any business can discover numerous new opportunities for engagement and precisely specify the spots where clients are most likely to interact based on a proper and in-depth examination of gathered data. The way we buy, get information, and seek experiences is continuously changing, and adaptation is more crucial than ever. Supporting the brand's experience and, as a result, enhancing growth by following the spirit of the times and the changing needs of your customers.

When customers quit buying, all the rest becomes irrelevant. Every business should be customer-centric if it wants to witness growth!

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