Customer-centric is 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-focused” or “profit-focused” companies.
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 approach translates to how those companies shape their product, conduct business and approach their bottom line.
Whether you are a small business owner or part of a larger company 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 that they continue to buy and refer us to new customers.
Thus, we must always be building our credentials, furthering our expertise and leveraging that experience. According to a Deloitte study, companies with a customer-centric approach are 60% more profitable than those that are not focused on the customer. Another study by Bain & Company reports that increasing customer retention rates by even 5% can boost profits by 25% to 95%.
Customer retention is better for profits than customer acquisition. Plus, it’s a much easier and less expensive business model than always having to find new customers.
Looking for a way to retain customers? Here are several easy strategies to bring your business from a product-centric to a customer-centric model.
Remember, customer satisfaction equals perception minus expectation. 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, and invoke a customer-centric approach, it is easier to establish relationships, build loyalty and grow sales in both the short and long-term.
©All Rights Reserved. February, 2021. DailyDACTM, LLC d/b/a/ Financial PoiseTM
Scott Steer is a New York-based marketing strategy/engagement/activation consultant focused on optimizing omni-channel marketing.
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