Let’s face it – becoming a customer-centric company is not easy. People get a bit confused by this term for two reasons. Firstly, the thing that pops to mind when thinking about customer-centricity is companies understanding, listening, delighting, and paying attention to their customers.
Secondly, you must be thinking, shouldn’t all SaaS companies do that anyway? Of course, they should be mastering it. But beneath the whole general customer-centric rules, there lies a lot of challenges in becoming a customer-centric company.
According to Gartner, customer-centricity is the ability of people in an organization to understand customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations. Customer centricity demands that the customer is the focal point of all decisions related to delivering products, services, and experiences to create customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
In this article, we want to look at the more challenging aspects of becoming a customer-centric company. What does it take to become a CX-first brand? What must you do to spread the customer-centricity principles amongst operations, marketing, contact centres, customer experience, and digital strategies to accommodate new customer behaviours and evolving customer expectations.
What Is a Customer-Centric Company?
First things first, a customer-centric company goes above and beyond to increase customer satisfaction.
If you’re unsure that your company is customer-centric, this could help.
Answer the following questions honestly. This exercise will help you visualize your entire customer journey to assess your customer-centricity levels and experience.
Do we know our customers’ biggest pain points? And are we solving them?
Is there any customer needs that we’re currently not meeting?
If our customers could build a solution to their problem, what would that look like? Is our solution close to their vision?
How would our customers describe our online value proposition?
How does our solution change our customers’ lives? Does it improve them?
What’s the one true key differentiator to our competition?
How seamless are our customer journeys?
How do our customer experiences make our customers feel?
What’s the one reason why our customers wouldn’t change us for?
How do we make our customers feel?
In the past, a customer-centric company meant businesses improving their digital channels to achieve customer-centricity naturally. It was a waiting game.
Companies thought that if they were making the transactions sleeker, cheaper, and more secure, customer-centricity would fall into their laps.
Until they realized that improving transactions was only a tiny piece of a bigger puzzle.
Top Challenges in Becoming a Customer-Centric Company
Executing a customer-centric strategy doesn’t happen overnight. And like all strategies, there will be challenging moments to overcome.
Whether that’s interpreting data, building customer journeys, connecting systems, or formulating messages, you need to be prepared to overcome these challenges and be prepared for anything.
In our experience and research, we identified a few common pain points when creating a customer-centric strategy. Here they are.
1. Building a customer-centric culture
This isn’t a new concept. When dealing with constant change in organizations, employees don’t react well. Few people embrace change for the greater good and feel like they have an impact on the bigger goal.
Change can be uncomfortable and hard to digest, but when it’s embraced, it’s imminent and oftentimes leads to positive growth.
Customer-centricity is a core value that is shared between all employees. That’s what successful companies have in common. Everyone shares the same vision and contributes to the change that customer-centricity brings.
So, encourage employees to share ideas and contribute to the overall goal. Giving a sense of worth and contribution is essential to make employees feel like they are part of the bigger picture.
2. Shifting perspective from product-centric to customer-centric
For the longest time, all companies’ main goal was to create a product that works and solves a core problem.
With time, the focus was on improving products, to make them sleeker, more efficient, and durable. Making a product indispensable is important for any business’s sustainability.
But it’s not the most important thing. Customers care about your brand interactions more than the problem that your product is solving. How, might you ask?
It’s simple. Market competition has changed product accessibility. Unless you have a very unique product, in a super niche industry, I bet your customers can find your product or solution elsewhere. So, it’s important to invest more in your customer interactions.
While buying a product, a customer can interact with more than one communication channel. So, make sure you adopt an omnichannel approach. Different types of interactions require a different type of involvement.
Having a proactive communication strategy in place means you can deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right customer. For instance, 60% of customers say that a good customer experience is important to feel loyalty toward a brand.
3. Improving Customer-Centricity with AI and Automation
AI and AI-enhanced tools drive more efficiency and cost reduction in customer service and operation teams. With the demand for more personalized customer journeys increasing, there was a need to enhance customer experience with AI.
Live chat – to enable real-time customer support on your shop or website.
Rich messaging – to provide personalized messaging campaigns that allow users to self-serve on a channel of their own choice (voice, SMS, WhatsApp)
Unified customer communications – artificial intelligence in unified communications can shape the future of enterprise communications by simplifying and automating tasks end users and IT must manually perform every day.
Checklist for Customer-Centric Companies
To overcome these main challenges, we’ve come up with a list of best practices to follow in order to push your company towards becoming a customer-centric brand.
Audience-centric marketing: marketing professionals gather data from multiple channels and interpret it to make better decisions. They create strategies with the focus to optimize every customer interaction in a way that brings customer loyalty and increases revenue.
Taking customers’ pulse: a comprehensive picture of customer health involves survey-based and behavioural metrics that give you a better picture of buying purchase patterns and brand loyalty.
Employing customer success managers: bring people specialized in advocating for customers and focusing on building a customer-centric culture in your organization.
Gather and interpret valuable customerdata: aggregate customer information from multiple channels into an easy-to-digest view.
Implement customer journey mapping: identify inefficiencies in the journey, such as slow response times, friction-filled purchase processes, and poor engagement, which can hurt your business. And fix them.
Don’t forget about post-interactions: the customer journey doesn’t end with the purchase. This is your opportunity to build a relationship with your customers.
Integrate customer service with marketing and sales: the most powerful departmental trio that can exist to measure customer success metrics and plan future campaigns.
Establish more customer success metrics: pay attention to what makes your customer tick.
Constantly engaging positively manner with your customers on all channels, at all times can be difficult. We recommend you take one day at a time to identify the top priorities metrics that you want to track and create strategies that make your customers’ life easier.
You might want to consider a partner in delivering unified and proactive communications. And that’s where VoiceSage can help.
Our solutions around mobile customer communications help brands around the world tackle their customer-centric plans while reducing costs and improving customer experience.
Book a demo today and we’ll be happy to show you around our platform.
Published on: 4th July 2022
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Public notice of the appointment of a process adviser Section 558J(3) of the Companies Act 2014
Pursuant to the passing of a resolution of the board of directors of VoiceSage Global Holdings DAC, Company Number 348563, on 1 March 2023, and being satisfied that Ian Barrett, KPMG is qualified in accordance with section 633 of the Companies Act 2014 (‘the Act’) for appointment as a process adviser, Ian Barrett has been appointed as process adviser for the company, in accordance with section 558E of the Act for the purpose of preparing a rescue plan in accordance with the provisions of Part 10A of the Act.
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