By Grace Lau – Director of Growth Content, Dialpad
There’s nothing like an inspirational quote to start an article off, right?
“Customer service shouldn’t be a department; it should be the entire company.” Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos
This quote encompasses the very core of this article. Building a strong customer-centric culture is one of the best ways to deliver value to your customers, make them the center of your work, and drive more revenue. Keeping your customers in mind with every business decision you make requires creating a company-wide value structure and making them the basis of your business ethos.
Implementing a customer-centric culture requires coordination and buy-in from everyone in your company to develop enhanced customer journeys with your brand. First up, though…
In a customer-centric business, everyone in the organization strives to put the customer first every single time. Right through from CEOs to product packers, all choices and actions have an end goal to ensure that they make the most of all customer engagement opportunities.
Take the lead from some examples of global organizations that put the “C” into “customer” with their mission statements:
These mission statements all have the customer in mind with a focus on the benefit for the customer of choosing their business.
Instilling a customer-centric company culture requires:
Communicate to all employees your organization’s ethos and why you are striving for a customer-centric approach. Align sales, qa team, and support teams so that an inherent understanding of each department is achieved.
Reinforce the customer-centric values so that employees walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.
Lead by example and believe that the customer-centric approach is the best one for your business’s success.
With customer acquisition costs on the rise every year, it makes sense to deliver the best possible experiences to your existing customers. Retaining customers takes less effort and cost than attracting and nurturing new leads to your business.
When your customers experience higher levels of satisfaction, your business is more successful. Boosting customer engagement encourages trust in your brand and a host of loyal advocates that choose to buy repeatedly from your business.
To learn how to be a customer-centric organization, coming up are six intuitive ways to start shifting your business’s focus and ultimately run a more successful operation.
Begin by setting the tone for your business’s customer-centric strategy. Do this by closely examining your customers to ascertain their needs and how your company can solve their problems. Create customer personas to match your target audience to personalize your brand’s message accordingly.
Ask questions like:
Look at your customers’ journey broken down into sections. Examine aspects like the first interactions with your business, the first purchase, feedback opportunities, and post-sales service to maximize every opportunity to deliver more.
Also, consider your audience’s demographics, previous browsing and buying behavior, and psychographics. Doing this enables you to create website personalization examples that are tailored to your customers’ needs.
Your approach may require implementing analytics tools and model risk management software to streamline the customer experience, a change in recruitment processes, or additional training tools for staff members.
Once you’ve defined your approach, identify data to back up your strategy. Creating a customer-centric culture requires deep dives into analytics to understand why situations occur, predict what will happen next, and discover how to avoid problems. Forecasting where the biggest impact of poor customer service means that you can fix it.
A data-backed approach focuses your time, energy, and funds on customer-centric approaches that will work to directly improve your customers’ experiences. For example, a hosted call center operations could look at the average speed of answering and handling time. If this aspect of customer service resulted in the biggest cause of customers’ frustrations, that would be the area to focus on.
Use data for the most pivotal points in your customers’ journey that add the most value. This can include tailored emails about upcoming deliveries and how to track them, post-sales support, and related products. Intuitive data allows your business to connect with customers on a more meaningful level, and they will trust your advice because you understand what they want and need.
Lead by example and motivate your employees to follow suit in their daily interactions with customers. Promote convincing customer-service-led strategies and ingrain them into every team member. Collaborate with your team to factor in customer expectations, wants, needs, and pain points. Work out together how each touchpoint with your brand can be optimized.
Some customer experience software offerings help to measure customer interactions and make improvements. Embed customer-focused skills in all staff members to form a natural customer-centric workplace culture.
Reinforce a customer-first focus with regular meetings and open discussions with all team members. Motivate your teams to build their customer service skills by doing the following:
Ignoring customer feedback is always a detrimental business decision. If customers feel that they aren’t being heard, their loyalty will go elsewhere (probably to your competitor). It makes sense that to become customer-centric, firstly, you need to identify what satisfies your customers. Encourage employees to develop soft skills so that they can empathize with customers to ascertain previously uncovered issues.
Check out these ideas to begin gathering your customers’ data:
When collecting feedback, consider:
Put in place a successful survey strategy, and you will uncover valuable insights to improve your customer service throughout every department in your company.
Feedback from your team is important, too. A customer-centric culture stems from your employees, and as such, the benefits radiate to everyone in your company. Listen to what everyone has to say, especially the people in customer-facing roles. Because they deal with your customers every day, this information is extremely valuable.
Explore employee touchpoints from recruitment initiatives, onboarding processes, promotion, and role developments from a business-wide angle. It’s all about empowering your teams to deliver the best customer experience possible because they believe in the customer-centric approach, not because they’ve been told that they believe it!
Omnichannel customer service provides customers with different options and platforms on which to communicate with your business. Social media, chatbot for support, and website forms are just a few methods of communication to apply. An omnichannel approach to customer service is a proactive way of touching base with customers regularly and encouraging interactions.
Allowing customers to choose their preference increases convenience, lowers frustration, and enables higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Of course, the primary benefit of adopting a customer-centric culture is improving service to your customers. But this new business strategy is useless if your business isn’t seeing success.
Consider the most relevant metrics to measure favorable outcomes. Perhaps the best KPI in this instance is the customer lifetime value (CLV). This metric tracks the total spending of each customer with your brand. In-depth analytics can provide you with data from recent and historical purchases, buying patterns, and the likelihood of repeat purchases.
The main factor affecting CLV is customer retention. And customer retention is one of the primary reasons to adopt a customer-centric culture. When you measure your business’s CLV rate, if it has increased as a direct result of customer-centric company culture, you’re onto a winning strategy.
Building a customer-centric culture in your organization takes time and effort from everyone involved. The main points to remember are:
When your whole team is on board with a customer-centric approach to business, you forge better relationships with your customers, increase your sales and customer lifetime value, drive more loyalty for your brand, and experience ultimate business success.
A customer-centric approach will help to differentiate your brand from competitors. Are you onboard?