A bad customer experience is one of the biggest annoyances of our society today. Okay, I don’t want to exaggerate, but we all know that the world would be a little better if customer experiences were just fantastic by default.
Nothing pisses me off more than looking for a support desk phone number. After all, you’re already pretty frustrated because the product doesn’t do what it’s supposed to and then it takes an effort to get things back on track.
I can name dozens of examples of bad customer service. .
Okay, I have an accent, but it’s not that bad, is it?
In short: things could be better. Steam-connect wants every company to deliver a great customer experience and we’re tackling frustrations in society. We do this by delivering a great product, but also by providing tips and inspiration.
Today, I am going to talk about a customer-oriented business mentality. Because I bet you could do a little better yourself.
Customer-centric, is that really customer-centric?
Customer Focus, Customer First, Customer Centric: there are many names for it, but they all boil down to the same thing: putting the customer at the centre of every business decision.
The pandemic has made customers even more demanding and has accelerated the importance of a good customer experience. Companies are increasingly realizing that the impact of a customer experience on business performance is truly huge.
Jyou also see that trends are increasingly shifting towards a more customer-centric business. Companies that apply it successfully are no longer passively involved with their customers, but actively listen to what customers have to say.
When you actively engage with your customers, you are able to anticipate their needs. You are constantly busy with the fullfilment of expectations and that ensures that customers are committed to you for a long time. And that, of course, brings in money.
In a time when competition is fierce and customers have bizarre expectations, customer focus is something that should be at the top of every organization’s agenda.
But how do you get such a customer-centric business mentality?
We are constantly working on customer contact and see that there is a great need to implement a customer-oriented mentality.
What do you need to do above all? The following:
Listen to your customers
If you want to create a customer experience that matters, you need to get inside your customers’ heads. And that goes beyond simply sending out surveys and calling customers for feedback.
To really understand your customers, you need to establish transparent and honest communication. Your customers need to feel free enough to share their stories and desires with you, and you need to identify opportunities and turn them into actions.
A 360-degree customer view is therefore essential.
I advise you to give your customers a choice when it comes to communication channels. Ask them how they prefer to communicate with you and provide an omnichannel customer experience so you can meet different needs.
If you give your customers more choice, you’ll be able to provide a seamless experience at all times. That is customer-centric!
Of course, you should make good use of the feedback you have collected. It can help you identify points in your products and services that need improvement. Plus, you gain some empathy and learn to understand your customers better beyond the purchase process.
You can also use other data to get a better picture of your buyer persona:
- Invoice data
- Social media data
- Loyalty programmes
It is important that you share all this information with all your teams and departments. This will allow you to compare information, share ideas and drive innovation across your business.
To deliver an exceptional customer experience, your entire organization needs to be well aware of who your customers are and what their journey is.
However, a persona is much more than a collection of data. It is important that you turn them into fictional characters. Give them a name, age, occupation and family status.
It’s like having an imaginary friend.
Make your customer experience personalized
There’s nothing like a company that really knows a customer. Or at least fakes it well. Personalization is something that’s really cool and it goes beyond optimizing your customer journey, because you’re now going to focus on individual experiences.
Meeting customer expectations is becoming increasingly complicated and attracting new customers costs money. So you better keep your customers.
Organizations that do not offer a seamless experience to customers who switch between channels or between departments (‘can you repeat your question?’) are really putting themselves out of business. You’re simply sabotaging your own sales and it’s also affecting your reputation. The fact is, people are more likely to share a bad experience than a good one.
Personalization has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and therefore on your profits. A staggering 68% of consumers say that personalized experiences are essential to their satisfaction, so you can’t take personalization lightly. It really is a significant part of being customer-centric.
Just make excellent the standard
A customer-centric mindset is not a one-time action. It is a long-term strategy.
Only by continuously supporting your customers and offering them the best possible solutions can you build a relationship based on transparency and trust.
Cherish all results and initiatives that came from the previous steps. Customer focus is much more than a part of your portfolio. It spreads throughout your organization and affects your performance.
Hands-on tips for being more customer-centric
So what can you do to become more customer-focused?
- Draw up your mission and vision and spread them. In your organization and beyond. Your customers need to know what you stand for and how you operate, so shout it loud and clear. By doing so, you will make transparency, trust and customer focus the focus of your every action, and your customers will appreciate that.
- Place your employees at the centre too. Customer focus is not just about customers. It is a mindset that also includes taking into account the well-being of your employees. They are on the front line, meeting customers and implementing your initiatives. To do that, they need to feel empowered at every step. So don’t just focus on your customers – always think about your employees and adopt a holistic CX mindset from the start.</li
A truly customer-centric organization is one where everyone is working towards the same goal: a perfect customer experience. That starts with your employees. When they’re frustrated, they take it out on your customers.
Ensure an optimal working climate and set up processes for your employees in the best possible way.
- Use the right KPIs & tools. Make sure you use the right KPIs and metrics. Always keep in mind that you should focus on customer numbers, not profits. Collect customer feedback, analyse it, and track performance metrics. This approach will allow you to better understand your customers and provide the right solutions when needed. Please also read this article on setting up the best reporting.
Don’t forget your tools. We live in the 21st century and automation has become the standard. Use software to have all your customer data in the right place and let your employees work more efficiently.
Time is also money, something that many companies still forget.
What are you going to do to become customer-centric?
It is not easy to change your organizational culture overnight. Do it in steps. Start with your own people and slowly work your way out.
Would you like to spar about a customer-oriented business strategy? Then get in touch with my colleagues in sales. They see different organizations every day and know better than anyone how to turn customers into fans.