In our fast-paced, hyper-connected digital landscape, customers are well and truly in the driver’s seat. Armed with the tools to share opinions, access information, and make buying decisions with the swipe of a screen or the click of a button, today’s customer is more discerning than ever. While your products or services are vital to your ongoing commercial success, in a world with limitless choices, the best way to cut through the noise is by adopting a customer-centric mindset.
Making your customers the main focus of your business strategy will boost engagement, improve loyalty, and give you an all-important edge on the competition.
Let’s find out more.
What is customer-centricity?
The customer experience (CX) is now considered the number one brand differentiator across industries. In fact, customer experience is the main priority for 45.9% of leading businesses for the next five years.
Customer-centricity is the act of placing your customers at the centre of your business. This mindset means that your core business objectives should revolve around the idea of creating a positive experience for your customers while delivering maximum value across channels and touchpoints.
Customer-centric companies believe that their business only exists because of their customers. They use three key strategies—customer development, customer retention, and customer acquisition—to drive their business forward (something we’ll touch on a little later).
The bottom line here is: Customer-centric companies create the best solutions for their customers.
Why are companies migrating away from a product-centric mindset?
Before we look at the three main pillars of customer-centricity, let’s consider why many of today’s most forward-thinking SMBs are migrating away from a solely product-centric business model.
With so many products and services available to customers at the drop of a virtual hat, companies across sectors must find ways to stand out from the crowd.
Niche or industry aside, the most effective way to beat the competition to the commercial punch is by offering a flawless customer experience at every stage of the journey.
Most marketplaces are saturated in the digital age, and it’s personal value and superior service that will attract people to your business—not your product alone.
Eighty-six per cent of customers are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience. Becoming more customer-centric will also significantly boost your customer retention rates.
We are living in the age of the customer—and if you get on board, great things will happen.
The 3 pillars of successful customer-centricity
Now that we’re up to speed with the value of adopting a customer-centric outlook for your business, let’s look at which areas to focus on.
Here are the three essential pillars of a successful customer-centric business strategy.
Customer development centres on driving additional value from your existing customers or clients.
The best customer-centric companies analyse relevant data to uncover patterns in consumer preferences or behaviour.
Armed with the right insights, you can develop targeted cross-selling and upselling strategies to increase average order value (AOV) while offering a level of personal value that creates loyalty.
When it comes to customer development-based strategies like cross-selling, the aim is to only engage in these activities when it makes sense and delivers genuine value rather than resorting to aggressive or pushy sales tactics.
Read: Your essential guide to cross-selling and upselling for practical advice on driving more value from your customers.
In addition to investing in customer development, nurturing your existing client relationships will significantly increase loyalty, driving more revenue to your business as a result.
Loyal customers are not only likely to invest more in your products or services over time, but they’re also likely to become brand advocates, which, in turn, will attract new clients or customers to your business.
Here are some effective customer retention tactics you should consider:
Another key aspect of customer-centricity is acquiring brand new customers or clients with maximum efficiency.
Customer acquisition is most effective (and profitable) when you approach the right customers for your business at exactly the right time.
By working with a CRM system, customer-centric companies gain the power to target the prospects who have engaged with them across various channels or touchpoints.
Upon gaining a deeper level of understanding into customer preferences or behaviour, it’s possible to reach out to the right prospects using the right medium, delivering content or communications (tailored emails, industry whitepapers, etc.) that are likely to result in a sale or a conversion.
To become a successful customer-centric company and move away from a product-centric mindset, understanding your clients or customers is vital.
If you work with the right CRM system, you will connect with the information and data needed to meet your customers’ needs head-on, propelling your growth in the process.