With customer expectations changing rapidly and technology impressively driving clients’ behavioural intentions, companies should implement an entirely different strategy to exceed customer expectations.
What being “customer-centric” really means
Adopting a customer-centric strategy means sharing a system of values and behaviors aimed at creating positive experiences for the user. It has been evident for some time now that companies that adopt this philosophy achieve 60% more profits than companies that do not have this orientation. (Source: cmo.com post May 2015).
A customer-centered organization considers the client’s point of view each time before taking a decision, creating a process, defining expected behaviors and developing a strategy. Client centered approach is an all-encompassing philosophy that unites in itself targeted culture and skills and aims at creating a positive buying experience for customers.
When a customer is at the center of every decision, and people within the organization have all the necessary skills to sustain a customer-centric culture, the result is a proactive approach to service excellence. This could be achieved through the company website, conversations with sellers, in-person or digital customer service. To create a customer-centered culture, every employee, whether or not directly interacting with customers, should work so that all products, services and procedures contribute to a positive client interaction.
How to create a customer-centric experience?
To create a customer-centric experience one should consider integrating various aspects
1. Map your client’s journey
When you are engrossed in your daily work activities, it’s easy to forget that there are countless ways to interact with customers in your everyday business. This is quite important considering clients with whom there is no direct interaction on a daily basis, as in ecommerce platforms management.
It is important to consider every access point, including personal references, advertising, web site contact forms, e-mails, phone calls, etc. Therefore, it is essential to analyze all the steps the customer will take and not limit to only to company phases.
The aim is to map the customer’s journey, not the processes in which the organization of the company is defined; that is to draw a flowchart, mapping the entire trip and all its variations, creating a plan to offer a positive shopping experience at its every stage.
2. Define the experience of your dream client
Once the path has been mapped, it is possible to determine the gaps, and to ask yourself what is missing for the client to experience a dream ecommerce experience.
The next step is to define the action plan for every step, ex.g: sending an email or shipping a product. As an example, a furniture company with a long delivery period may want to send a client an email with a picture of the furniture piece and a personal note that will make the customer feel remembered and appreciated. In other words, it is always possible to create steps in the purchasing process to delight your customers.
3. Define what the customer’s centrality means to the client’s experience
After determining the experience of your dream client at each interaction point and after setting the success benchmarks, it is important to define specific actions to support these objectives.
4.Determine a measurement of success
You will never know if your efforts are effective if you cannot measure your progress. When it comes to the customer’s centrality, several objectives could be aimed at. For each of these objectives there should be determined a measurement of success.
5. Develop a customer-centric strategy for each company team
Putting theory into practice is one of the most difficult tasks when trying to transform a corporate culture. It requires a focused and sustained effort that derives company leadership and organizational strategies.
6. Implement the customer-centric strategy in an engaging way
As a key component of shifting a company to a customer centric culture, organizational training should be a top priority.