“[In today’s environment] the only way to assure business success and business excellence is to re-align all aspects of business to the single factor– customer; and create a close and profitable relationship with the customer.”
-Dr. Dawei Lu. (2011). In Pursuit of World Class Excellence.
Today’s customers are looking for great products and exceptional customer experiences to accompany them. Enter the idea of customer-centricity. Customer-centricity is a way of thinking and conducting business that focuses primarily on the customer experience. This is done throughout the duration of the customer’s contact with your company. This differs from a product-centric approach. Rather than highlighting your product’s features and focusing on creating new products, your efforts are focused on creating solutions for your customers.
Although the journey toward embracing and applying a customer-centric mission isn’t a short one, there are three key factors you can consider to shape your customers’ experience.
Are your products or services meeting a need? During the economic downturn, customers began paying closer attention to how they were spending their money, opting to pare down the clutter. They want to maximize their spending with products and services that truly served their needs. When you focus on your customers and their needs, you build products and services that fill a void in their life.
How convenient is it for customers to use your product or service? No matter how great your product is, if it’s not quick and convenient for your customers, it’ll likely go by the wayside. The best rule of thumb? Aim for a seamless experience, whenever possible. The fewer steps that stand between your customer and their desired outcome from using your product or service, the better.
Do your customers feel a connection with your product? Do they have a connection with your brand? Are you listening to their feedback? Anytime you ask for feedback, you create the opportunity for your customers to feel valued, and therefore create a bond with your brand.
To take a customer-centric approach is to commit to creating an outstanding experience for your customers from the time they first become aware of your product or service, through the purchasing process, and eventually through the post-purchasing stages. If you can look at your overall mission and incorporate the above three factors into your strategy, you will be well on your way to creating a brand that clearly values its customers, and its customers value in return.