When your company revolves around your customers, you increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Research by Deloitte and Touche found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not focused on the customer.
The surge of customer centricity correlates with the hyper-connected digital age we live in. As a result, companies must examine their digital efforts, combined with a customer-centric company culture that nurtures superior customers experiences for the entire customer journey, that is, if you are to stay on top of your game going forward.
Investing most of your resources in sales and marketing, while neglecting customer service, retention loyalty, and engagement, will not carry favour for long. Creating superior experiences during every encounter a customer has with your company, for the whole customer lifecycle is the way to build competitive advantage and succeed.
Small companies will already have the edge over corporate giants as small businesses are known for providing a more personal customer experience. You must live up to customer expectations and convince your customers every day why they should stay with you and never lose focus on what is most important.
McKinsey’s report “The additional value that comes from focusing efforts on important customer journeys, rather than individual touchpoints, makes the task of training and deploying effective frontline workers all the more complex.”
Improving customer experience and creating a customer centric culture is difficult to consistently get right, because the primary hurdle is in translating boardroom vision of customer centricity and superior customer experience into consistent and aligned action throughout the company.
4 Steps to Deliver a Consistent Customer Centric Strategy Throughout Your Organisation.
- Develop a customer service strategy that determines the overall direction of the organisation. This includes a service/operational action plan to ensure the strategic objectives are met. The plan is openly shared with employees to ensure everyone is going on the same journey. So, communication is key, keep your people informed to stop rumours and gossip spreading, which can lead to negativity responses.
- Build a customer service framework, this is a learning and development framework will feedback loops that help identify how the organisation is going to deliver the stated service excellence. Celebrating success are key motivators for employees so reward and recognition is used to maintain motivation for your service strategy.
- Identify and deploy executive service leaders and senior managers to become the organisation’s customer champions. A leader who successfully creates a customer-focused culture will have a significant impact on the business success, employee retention and customer loyalty. Critically, leaders must encourage positive teamwork.
- Recruit high-performance and motivated people with a ‘can-do attitude’ you want people who already have a customer-focused mindset. You can develop their knowledge and skills for delivering service excellence against competencies that are customer focused. Attitude like tolerance, empathy, good judgement is ingrained then teach excellent communication skills and the ability to anticipate service issues and respond appropriately according to the organisations values.
The Secret of Creating Superior Customer Experiences Is to Put Your People First!
Some would argue you just hire the right people and get out of their way, but it is more than this. Employees, even the brightest ones, need a set of condition for success. This requires putting goals, systems and processes in place, because it is hard to succeed in a poorly managed or maintained culture and business.
McKinsey research finds that emotionally engaged customers are typically three times more likely to recommend a product and to purchase it again. However, many companies struggle to engage their employee’s let alone their customers. CIPD Outlook reported that a survey by CEB found that one-third of star employees feel disengaged from their employer and are already looking for a new job. So, employee engagement must be a leadership priority if customer centricity is to be achieved.
6 Ways to Improve Engagement and Performance of Your People:
- Listen to your employees and seek to tackle their problems and needs.
- Hire with attitude, not aptitude, in mind and work to build on attitudinal strengths as part of employee development.
- Build motivation by instilling shared purpose rather than by applying behavioural rules.
- Tap into their creativity by assigning autonomy and responsibility to stimulate innovative thinking.
- Tie performance standard to compensation – no point reward short termism and expect long term thinking and investment.
- Track and publish results promote transparency, engagement and ownership and develop positive peer pressure of we are all in it together.
Customer centricity works across your entire team and functions and these areas work most effectively with relevant goals that have customer success at the basis of every company goal. The aim is to get cross-functional teams collectively helping them to better understand the customer and each other, this is the path to customer success and higher employee engagement.
Customer centric leverages frameworks and methodologies that start with a collective understanding of the customer and takes teams into a collaborative space that facilitate a customer perspective within the company, function or team.
I will be talking through each of the 4 most powerful practice (people, products, customers, process) in future blogs, however, you can get first access to my video training and LIKE my Facebook business page or subscribing to my YouTube channel.