What is customer centricity? How can growing startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) prioritise customer centricity to fuel growth and drive success? Customer centricity is about providing personalised, connected customer experiences across all channels — before, during, and after every transaction. Customer-centric businesses deliver more empathetic experiences to win over customers and build more highly valued customer relationships that return real business value.
Having a customer-centric mindset is more important than ever in a digital-first world. Whether you are a digital-native organisation or a traditional structured company, putting the customer at the centre of everything you do is critical to a successful digital transformation.
The problem is that many SMEs try to solve one problem at a time and lose focus on the big picture. That tends to create a disconnected ecosystem of siloed platforms, which can result in disjointed customer journeys and cause a customer success gap.
Prioritising customer centricity is one of the key factors to SMEs’ success and growth. Focusing on putting your customers at the centre of everything you do as your big-picture goal will help to close the customer success gap, support your customer journeys, attract investor interest, and scale your business. Here’s how.
Customers’ expectations and behaviours have shifted as we continue our transition to a digital-first world. According to Salesforce’s latest State of the Connected Customer report, 73% of customers now expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
That means customers no longer want to be categorised. Customers want personalised communication on any — and all — channels they choose. A few years ago, we started with the concept of 1:many. It then moved to a 1:1 model, thanks to the evolution of the Marketing solutions. Now, it has evolved into what we call the 1:U, where customers want the brands they love to know them on a personal level.
To close the customer success gap, you must put the customer at the centre of everything you do. That requires the right structure and technology to unify your data and create a single source of truth.
To prioritise customer centricity, the technologies you choose should support your customer journeys. The right technology can help achieve this in three key ways.
First, it drives automations to add efficiency and consistency across your customer journey ecosystem. Second, it creates a single source of truth with customer data accessible to everyone, from anywhere. Third, it enables you to make data-backed decisions, and provides the agility you need to react to situations quickly.
Take Zenyum, for example. The Singapore-based smile cosmetics company deployed Sales Cloud to allow their team to analyse data by country within the markets efficiently. At the same time, Service Cloud and Experience Cloud help them create a sophisticated personalisation pipeline that delivers deep data insights, including a 360-view of each customer interaction. It is also used to connect different teams on a single platform, increasing efficiency, and reducing turnaround times by 40-50%. As a result, Zenyum has achieved 8x improvement in lead activation rate.
How do you secure funding for your growing business? Securing business funding can be a difficult challenge to overcome. Investors, venture capitalists, incubators, and accelerators take customer success seriously when assigning value to your business. In a recent discussion with James Watson, Director of Investments at Catcha Group, we talked about what SMEs need to do to attract investor interest.
"We always look for companies that have relatively low cost to acquire customers, and have a platform that can retain them successfully with minimal churn," he said. "You need to continue to show growth in obtaining new customers and make sure they are retained successfully without spending too much to retain them. Being able to innovate quickly, pivot your business, and directly serve your consumers is the key differentiator we look for in companies."
Customer-centric companies are able to achieve this by leveraging data to understand customer behaviour and make insightful decisions to best serve their customers.
“We always look for companies that have relatively low cost to acquire customers, and have a platform that can retain them successfully with minimal churn. You need to continue to show growth in obtaining new customers and make sure they are retained successfully without spending too much to retain them. Being able to innovate quickly, pivot your business, and directly serve your consumers is the key differentiator we look for in companies.”
At Salesforce, we define scalability as increasing revenue without substantially increasing resources. Achieving that is about using a digital-first mindset to create better efficiency and ensure that any additional resources are reflected in your return on investment (ROI).
This digital-first mindset has to be fused into your company culture. You need to identify the prime areas for automation, hire the right people ahead of the curve, and don’t become over-dependent on one person or isolated knowledge. Building your business with scalability in mind and taking a customer-centric mindset are the keys to growth and success.
Vietnam-based test automation platform provider, Katalon, is putting this concept into practice. The company has doubled in size in less than 12 months, and credits Salesforce as a catalyst for their growth.
To scale into the enterprise segment, the company uses automation through Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Platform and Inbox to enable the customer success team to touch every customer account while maximising efficiency and cost effectiveness. These solutions have reduced manual processes by 70%, improved conversion rate, and increased accurate forecasts by 50%.
The company is also using Salesforce to streamline the entire sales funnel and divide tasks between sales and customer success teams, while maintaining a seamless experience across the entire customer journey.
Salesforce enables Katalon to hire in any country and optimise serving their customers globally, while keeping a culture of accountability through their remote sales, service and finance teams. This capability has contributed to a four-fold increase in revenue team growth.
This is more evidence why the SME’s roadmap for sustainable growth should be centred around a 360 customer-centric vision that puts the customer at the core of the experience.
Building your business with scalability and customer centricity in mind is critical to growth and success. Learn how to create a winning strategy that can help you stay competitive and innovative in this fast-changing environment. Take your business to the next level and be the game changer for your business.
Watch our customer centricity video now to learn how to unlock profitable growth and success for your business.