How to Develop a Customer-Centric CultureVanda Williams
Customer-centric company culture is focused on providing a positive customer experience at every point of the customer journey to promote repeat business, drive business growth and enhance customer loyalty.
However, a company with good customer service isn’t necessarily a customer-centric company. So, what makes a business customer-centric?
Well, it takes placing the customer at the heart of everything your company does.
What is customer-centric?
Your business is customer-centric if customer satisfaction provides the very driving force for action. Curating a positive customer experience not only brings meaning to your organisation but also forms the basis for both internal and external communication.
When your company sees the customer experience as absolutely crucial to what you do, the customer’s best interests are affirmed at every touchpoint. This makes their satisfaction the main focus of your company. In fact, your company forms around the pursuit of this goal.
Why creating a customer-centric strategy helps your business
In business terms, placing your customer at the centre of your company’s mission makes a lot of sense. For instance, research by Deloitte shows that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable when compared to companies that don’t focus on the customer.
However, according to CMO Council, only 14% of marketers believe that customer-centricity is a hallmark of their companies. This is because cultivating and executing a customer-centric culture, one that provides a positive customer experience through their entire journey, requires a massive shift in the organisation’s structure and culture. Yet, these shifts are worth getting right. Positive benefits include:
- Increased customer loyalty – 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
- Growth in revenue – Customers switching companies due to poor service costs U.S. companies a total of $1.6 trillion.
- Word of mouth marketing – Customers tell an average of nine people about a positive experience with a brand, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience.
- Heightened employee engagement – Companies with initiatives to improve their customer experience see employee engagement increase by 20% on average.
- Decreased purchase abandonment – Customers are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience than customers who report negative experiences.
5 best practices to becoming a customer-centric business
A customer-centric brand creates products, processes, policies and a culture that is designed to support customers with a great experience from initial discovery to point of purchase and beyond. Here are 5 best practices to help your business stand out:
1. Put relationships first
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of customers in purely transactional terms; they are not simply numbers to be measured or analysed in a revenue performance report. Think of your customers as individuals who all share a common problem, one that your particular brand/product can fix. A truly customer-centric organisation cares about its customers’ well-being, and this means caring about the world they live and work in.
2. Hire for customer success
Regardless of role, focus on hiring talent that aligns with customer-centric thinking and the importance of customer experience at your business. Your employees are the front-facing workforce that will ultimately influence the customer’s experience with your brand. When companies hire with customer success in mind they have 1.5 times more engaged employees than less customer-focused companies, forming a positive experience for everyone involved.
3. Standardise customer data
Embracing a new customer-centric culture requires centralised access to customer data and insights. When you put your customer at the core of your business and combine it with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence tools, you can collect an abundance of data, which gives you a full 360 view of the customer. This data can then be used to enhance your customer’s experience and ultimately, your brand.
4. Link customer actions to results
Connecting company culture to customer outcomes will help motivate employees by seeing the direct results of their customer-centric approach. You can capture customer success strategies in real-time to help highlight successful strategy implementation, i.e. strategies to reduce customer wait times.
5. Establish a customer-centric company narrative
Knowing your company’s story is crucial to understanding what potential value you bring to your customers. Ask yourself why your company exists and what fundamental problem you’re helping your customers solve. Then condense your answer into a concise yet smart core statement relating to customers. Then, use your statement to help outline the values needed to reach this goal. These value statements define what the company believes in and how they are expected to behave, establishing the company culture.