Customers are the lifeblood of every business; without their purchases, a business simply wouldn’t survive. Although most companies understand the importance of each customer, some businesses take meeting customer needs to another level. Learn how to ensure your customers are delighted by every aspect of your business, virtual and physical, from the products to the purchasing experience.
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What is customer-centricity?
Customer-centricity means the customers’ needs and wants guide business decisions, whether it’s the refund policy or how customer service reps interact with consumers. When business owners embrace customer-centricity, they consider the customer first, making sure every aspect of the sales process is tailored to the customer’s wants and needs.
The importance of customer-centricity
While having a customer-centric approach is wonderful for the consumer, it’s not just about altruism. According to Berkley’s California Review Management survey, customer-centric businesses experience 2.5 times more revenue growth than businesses that don’t embrace customer-centric thinking.
Acquiring new customers tends to be more difficult and expensive than retaining customers. Therefore, using resources to delight existing customers (and sell them more products) can ultimately be more profitable than a strategy that doesn’t prioritize the long-term customer experience. Happy customers tend to be repeat customers who are loyal to the brand, sharing their positive experiences with friends and colleagues.
Building blocks of customer-centricity
Customer-centric businesses assess every touchpoint, policy, product, and process through the lens of customer needs. Here’s how they accomplish that:
Customer needs are a core value
The customers’ needs are the driving force behind every product, business strategy, or process decision. This core value is often stated in business mission statements and invoked at staff meetings to help guide company decisions.
Shopping is easy
Online or in-person shopping should be a fun, easy, and enjoyable experience for the customer. Flawless customer experience pre-, mid-, and post-purchase, coupled with exceptional customer service centered on positive customer experiences, will bring joy to shoppers.
Customer relationships are paramount
Continuously delighting customers, whether through personalized shopping experiences, special discounts and perks, improved or new products, or even creative social media posts, keeps them engaged and returning. Customer-centric companies make each customer feel like a valued member of a community.
How to become a customer-centric business
- Define customer-centricity for your business
- Share customer data with all departments
- Listen to customer feedback
- Hire employees who embrace customer-centricity
- Build relationships with customers
- Develop a customer-centric marketing strategy
- Build community
Although creating a customer-centric business might sound easy and obvious, it’s not simply a matter of ramping up your customer service teams. It’s a thoughtful process. Here are seven customer-centric best practices and steps:
1. Define customer-centricity for your business
What does customer-centric mean in the context of your business? Consider including your unique definition in your company’s mission statement.
Whether you include the mission on your website or not, the customer’s perception should be that your customer-centric company is authentic and not a marketing gimmick. Employees should be 100% aware they work in a customer-centric organization.
2. Share customer data with all departments
Understanding customers’ purchasing behaviors, from churn rates to buying history, is critical to anticipating their future needs and wants. Interdepartmental access to collected data helps all employees better understand the customer journey.
3. Listen to customer feedback
Collect customer feedback about products or services on various channels, from website comments to social media DMs. You can also gather feedback through online surveys or user testing platforms like UserTesting.com.
“Customer reviews are pure gold,” Jake Miller, the founder of coffee-equipment brand Fellow, told Shopify Masters. “Every entrepreneur and employee should obsess over what feedback you’re getting from your customers, [because] the voice of the customer is essential.”
4. Hire employees who embrace customer-centricity
Your company will have a competitive advantage when employees feel a sense of accomplishment by serving and helping customers. Hire those who enjoy contributing to a strong company culture of customer-centricity.
5. Build relationships with customers
Excellent customer service isn’t the only characteristic of a customer-centric brand, but it is one place where you can make each customer feel valued. Invest in customer service training and support for teams so they can bring a human touch to each interaction.
6. Develop a customer-centric marketing strategy
Customer-centric organizations don’t market exclusively to push products. Instead, they see marketing as an opportunity to add value to the brand by educating and delighting consumers.
7. Build community
Customer-centric businesses build community through physical customer-centric experiences, such as a round-table discussion, book party, or podcast centered on the consumer. Set up online forums or channels where customers can talk shop and share their experiences.
Put your customer data to work with Shopify’s customer segmentation
Shopify’s built-in segmentation tools help you discover insights about your customers, build segments as targeted as your marketing plans with filters based on your customers’ demographic and behavioral data, and drive sales with timely and personalized emails.Discover Shopify segmentation
What does it mean to be customer-centric?
Customer-centric means the company puts customers first. Bringing joy to the consumer guides almost every decision a company makes, from products to process.
How do you train employees to be customer-centric?
To train employees to be customer-centric, incorporate customer-centricity into the mission statement and model customer-centric culture in the office. Train staff to share and analyze customer data, and reward employees who make decisions with the customer in mind.