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customer centric

Increase Sales and Profits by Becoming Customer Centric

Customer Centric Means It’s Not All About You

Customer centric: a fancy phrase for a very basic concept. It means focusing on what your customers want and need. Yet for such a basic concept, it amazes me how many companies fail to understand their customers.

Sadly, I also know too many companies whose customer experience simply, well,  sucks. Companies that tend to top the lists of worst customer service are TV/Internet providers, health plans, wireless carriers, utilities and airlines. Marketers call these types of organizations product or profit-focused companies.

Customer Centric Done Right

Now think of companies that offer great customer experience. Typically, names like Apple, Amazon and Amex lead those lists (and it’s not because they all start with an “A”). They continually make “best of lists” because they truly focus on their customers. Of course, products, services, and profits are all still paramount, but those things all occur through the lens of customer satisfaction, first. That customer centric focus translates to how they conduct their businesses and their bottom lines.

You may also like, “Targeted Sales and Marketing Should Drive Your Company’s Business Growth”

Whether you are a small business owner/executive or part of a larger one (as an executive, attorney, accountant or consultant) you are in the “credentials game.” We all are. Our products and services need to make our customers happy so they continue to buy and refer us to new customers. Thus, we always must be building our credentials, furthering our expertise and leveraging that experience. A Deloitte study found customer centric companies are 60% more profitable. It’s a much easier and less expensive business model than always having to find new customers.

Our products and services need to make our customers happy so they continue to buy and refer us to new customers.

Here are 5 easy ways to make your business more customer centric:

  1. Start with great customer service and communication to be customer centric. Do what you say you will, on time and on budget. In the rare instance that you cannot, communicate as soon as possible to manage expectations. After all, nobody likes those surprises.
  2. Ask your customers what they want and need. By solving their problems, you make your products and services invaluable.
  3. Empower your team. Provide guidelines for employees to drive customer satisfaction. Allow them to make decisions which benefit the customer, as long as it won’t cost the company too much in profit or reputation and, of course, it isn’t illegal.
  4. Tell your prospects you will be asking for referrals before you close the sale. It sets the expectation that your product or service is so valuable, your customers are happy to provide referrals when you are finished. Plus, now customers will be expecting the referral request as your finish your work or project.
  5. Realistically manage customer expectations and your business’ perceptions.

Satisfaction = Perception – Expectation

Thus, if your perceived value falls short of expectation, your customers will be dissatisfied.

It doesn’t matter the size of your business or which audience segments you choose to target. When businesses focus on their customers’ wants and needs, it is easier to establish relationships, build loyalty and grow sales.

 

About Scott Steer

Scott Steer is a Marketing Strategy, Branding, Advertising, Promotion & Business Development Consultant with 25+ years working on iconic brands like Coca-Cola, Kraft, Anheuser-Busch, Gillette, and Texaco, as well as dozens of smaller niche brands. Scott helps small and medium sized companies use data and the resources available to them to optimize their sales and…

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