How to make your organization more customer-centric?

Learn about the basics of Customer Centricity - what is it, how is it different from customer service, and strategies to be more customer-centric

What is Customer Centricity?

As the name suggests, customer centricity is creating processes and services by keeping a customer at the core of everything an organization thinks and implements. This is also to maintain a high standard of customer satisfaction which leads to a positive customer experience and builds brand value and recognition. 

A lot of organization have dabbled with this term before without realizing that just focusing on either customer service or customer experience does not make on customer centric, but involves a lot of tactical and strategic decision-making. How will each decision of an organization impact a customer's behavior towards the organization? Answers shall lead to correct implementation of customer-centric strategies.

Comapnies like Amazon and Zappos are believed to be some of the customer-centric organization. Zappos do not hesitate to even fire employees that do not fall under their customer-centric models.

Difference between Customer Service and Customer Centricity

Customer Service can be best defined as providing any kind of assistance or advice once a customer has availed a specific service or product from a company. Customer Service is just one of the many dimensions of being a customer-centric organization. A good customer service can lead to a positive customer experience. A customer-centric model requires an equal focus on customer service too.

See some of the best examples of good customer service.

Whereas, customer centricity as discussed above is about creating processes and services by keeping a customer at the core of everything an organization thinks and implements. It is not just about providing the best possible customer service or experience, but everything to do about the needs and wants of a customer. The main focus of any organization is to observe and understand what the customers are asking for and delivering that in the fastest and best possible manner.

Strategies to become a more customer-centric organization

Each organization has their own customer-centric models that they follow, but there are some best practices that these comapny follows that you can adopt too. These are simple and basic, but often neglected!

1. Define your central customer-centric philosophy

Customer-centric philosophy is just like an organization's vision and mission. This philosophy clearly needs to state how an organization shall approach and treat its customers. It needs to be simple and direct. For example, "The needs of my customer will always be addressed first." 

2. Share the philosophy with defined core values

Once your philosophy is clearly defined share it with your employees along with set core values that need to be performed by your employees. 

3. Be responsible for creating a customer-centric culture

Create a dedicated team that identifies the gaps in your current customer-centric culture. One needs to be focused and responsible on creating a culture that addresses the wants and needs of a customer. This is paramount for any customer-centric culture. 

4. Focus on building relationship with your customer

Once the needs and wants of a customer are identified, focus on building relationship by designing products and services that a customer never thought they needed, but once provided it had a long lasting customer experience. Apple is one of the most common examples given when it comes to giving a customer products that they never thought they needed. For example, iPhone, iPad, iMAC

5. Be accessible to your customers

Not just accessibility in terms of communication via phone, mailing, etc., but also in terms of website access, social media accessibility, etc. Whenever and wherever a customer reaches out to you be sure to be responsive. Be empathetic by choosing the right words to deal with your customers. Here are some of the magic words that can come to your rescue.