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Customer Centricity: What Is It and How to Achieve It?

Customer Centricity: What Is It and How to Achieve It?

What is customer centricity and how can you achieve it? We explain what it is and why it’s important to your business strategy.

Customer centricity should be a top priority of every business. By prioritising a customer’s needs over everything, businesses can better understand each customer’s:

If a business is customer-centric, brand loyalty and sales revenue greatly benefit. For over 20 years, Salesforce has helped businesses connect with consumers on a deeper level. This is why we created The Transformation Playbook, a guide to bringing the customer closer to the centre of your business.

The Transformation Playbook

Learn how to change mindsets, connect silos, and centre around your customer.

Access the transformation playbook 2020 here

What is customer centricity and how can you achieve it?

You won’t necessarily find a set definition or scale in business handbooks. Essentially, customer-centricity is about making life as easy as possible for your customers. It’s important to remember it’s the customers’ perception of customer centricity that matters, not how you think you’re doing. So you need to use customer feedback to measure success.

But how to achieve it?

Firstly, know that every employee owns customer centricity; it’s not just the domain of those at the top. Meaning, you should make it easy for everyone in the business to deal with any customer issues.

Give employees the tools and information they need to support customers. Encourage teamwork and collaboration between departments. And never forget that anyone can make a difference.

Different teams could and should collaborate. They should also share goals and KPIs so everyone can help each other, working together on shared tasks.

Listen, really listen, to front-end staff who hear from customers every day. Also, make sure you think about the end-to-end customer experience. For instance, prepare any potential bottlenecks.

A single view of the customer for all departments

When you think about it, a centralised view of the customer is the ideal scenario, isn’t it? It may be difficult to transition to a single source of truth if your business operates in silos. So it’s important to keep in mind that a 360-degree view of your customers is the key to success moving forward into the New Normal.

Begin with a clear overview and layer on more and more information and context using your technology stack. Being able to see this ‘single source of truth’ will empower your employees and make it easier for them to make it easier for your customers.

Developing a customer-centric business strategy

Make sure your customer experiences are well-designed for both customers and the employees that support their journeys. Spending time, money, and effort on new technologies to support outdated processes won’t help.

Modern business processes should focus on customer-centric journeys. You can start creating your customer-centric business strategy by:

  • Defining each task
  • Picking one customer touchpoint
  • Focussing on who needs to address that and the time frames needed
  • Moving from company-first to customer-first practices

After addressing each of these steps, you can explore new technology options to facilitate the changes.

The importance of mindset shifts

To start, your workforce needs to have the right mindset to make the implementation of new technology a success. Most organisations commonly have one of two mindsets, Renovate and Transcend:

  • Renovated mindset brings a defensive strategy to business transformation. It applies new technology to existing business practices in the hope of making change.
  • Transcendent mindset looks for completely new and unique ways to do things. This is a common mindset among disruptors and start-up entrepreneurs.

Image of the renovate and transcend mindsets. For renovate, consider how do you optimise your existing business. For transcend, consider how you create customer value in new ways.

The organisations that are beyond the point of building from the ground up must adopt a completely different mindset. They need to transform their existing culture with the help of new technologies. This is the Evolve mindset. Learn more.

Image of the Evolve mindset. Ask yourself, how do you put your customer in the centre of your business?

A mindset involves a combination of leadership and business metrics that every employee must align to. All three mindset types should be present to some degree. However, the executive focus should be on evolving to transform.

In order to ensure an organisation is on the right track, in terms of having the right mindset and improving customer journeys, simply answer these questions:

  • Where do we see customer-centricity inside the organisation?
  • What digital disruptors inspire us, and what can we learn from them?
  • How can we help teams that stick to muscle memory to evolve?
  • How do we move from renovate to evolve?

Image of a chart explaining the steps to evolving your business process.

Having the whole team on the same page is key. Customers don’t want to navigate an org chart to find the right contact to solve their issue, so making sure that you are offering a joined-up, easy-to-navigate service experience is the first step on the road to customer centricity.

Using technology to achieve customer-centricity

Technology helps you make customer-centricity an act of business. And Salesforce gives you the technology stack to offer an extensive strategy that merges customer relationship management (CRM), integration, and data.

Here are a few benefits of CRM software:

  • Consolidates the number of tools needed for your workforce to do their work.
  • Empower employees to deliver the right customer experiences at the right time.
  • Builds upon data with valuable insights and recommendations.
  • Makes customer data easily shareable.
  • Keeps you flexible and connected in an age of APIs, IoT, and the platform economy.

Instead of focussing on your CRM as a product, with different areas of the business using it in silos, why not make the most of collaboration tools and omnichannel capabilities?

To find out more about making customer centricity your number one business priority, check out The Transformation Playbook.

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