Is your company truly customer-centric?
- 24 Sep 2021
Being customer-centric is not only about making an attractive website and ensuring a quality after-sales service.
And that will not be enough to create a strong relationship with the customer. To achieve this, it is not only necessary to know your customers perfectly, but also to rethink your company in depth to turn all your activities towards the customer: marketing of course, but also the products and services offered, the sales channels, the customer service and/or after-sales service are all part of a global strategy turned towards the customer and the permanent search for customer loyalty.
Know the customer and know where to find him
To know your customers, you can of course create personas, listing the characteristics of each group of people.
Depending on the marketing campaigns and their cost, we can roughly segment our customers into three categories: non-profitable customers, profitable customers and very profitable customers. But beyond that, we must also analyze the purchase basket of the latter: a very profitable customer is not necessarily a customer who buys the most expensive products. It is better to have a customer who buys frequently with an average basket, rather than a customer who places 2 large orders in a year. Technically, we can consider that the latter is more volatile and less loyal than the former.
Listening, the active basis of customer understanding
To know your customers, you obviously have to listen to them to know what they expect from your company.
What are their needs? Do your products or services meet them? What emotional bond do you manage to create between customers and your brand?
This is done through feedback sent to the company's support, but primarily through comments on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), online shopping sites (Amazon in particular, where comments are numerous) and satisfaction surveys. Moreover, this listening must be permanent, to respond to customers and possibly modify the item as quickly as possible if customers spot a defect. We are talking about satisfaction here, of course, but loyalty is a perceptible and more rewarding consequence over time.
This customer-centric policy does not only concern marketing. All the company's employees must be involved, from production to after-sales service. When designing a product, we must not only focus on its functionalities but also be able to give it a soul that will make your customer emotionally attached to your brand. This requires a profound transformation of the company to achieve this. Apple is obviously one of the most striking examples of a customer-centric company, which lives and breathes only to please its customers and build their loyalty. And it does this wonderfully well.
The customer-centric approach is not limited to the product itself, but also to the best way to showcase it and the ease of its acquisition. This is where the design of the website where the product is sold comes in. Where to place the item on the page? How to simplify the checkout process as much as possible? Just removing the irritants will contribute to a pleasant experience for the user, and give him a positive image of your brand. Customer journey analysis is therefore important and A/B testing tools allow you to optimize the site design. In fact, a customer-centric strategy requires adequate software in terms of CRM, analytics, and big data. Without them, it is impossible to carry out segmentation and launch successful and personalized marketing operations.
The effectiveness of a customer-centric approach can be measured, in particular, by the churn rate (i.e. the number of lost customers) and the CLV (Customer Lifetime Value), in other words, the customer's retention time.
The Customer Lifetime Value is indeed an extremely powerful indicator to measure the most profitable consumers.
Do not confuse Customer-Centric and Customer focused
Many still confuse the two. However, the difference is significant and will impact your entire strategy.
Because as you have understood, being customer-centric means above all worrying about the loyalty of the most profitable customers, to the detriment of the 20% who buy little and will represent a mechanically higher acquisition cost.
Being customer-oriented, on the other hand, is no less interesting as an approach. It is about turning the whole company towards the satisfaction of the customer, to know how to always respond to his desires, his remarks, and his complaints. Even for the most demanding and least successful customers.
Do you understand the difference?
Without necessarily having to choose between the two, it is possible to add a little customer focus to a customer-centric strategy. Keep in mind not to burn all your energy and budgets (acquisition, customer service...) on unprofitable customers.
Particularly in B2B, where it can be profitable not to throw yourself headlong into customer projects whose profitability or lifetime value are not sufficient.
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