“The customer is firmly in the driving seat and with that comes a required change in how you build and nurture relationships with potential and existing customers. Companies that put the customer at the heart of their organization are experiencing an increase in customer lifetime value and a reduction in churn.” 1
This definitively illustrates that customer-centricity is the smart choice.
Research by Deloitte found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not centered on the customer.2 Further, a recent study by McKinsey found that organizations adopting customer-centric business strategies achieve annual revenue growth of 10 to 15%.3
So, what’s a brand to do to become truly customer-centric? It starts by taking a more holistic view of the touchpoints, activities, sources consulted, motivations, barriers, and purchase behaviors that reveal the underlying patterns in decision-making.
Research by Deloitte found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not centered on the customer.2 Further, a recent study by McKinsey found that organizations adopting customer-centric business strategies achieve annual revenue growth of 10 to 15%.”3
You may be thinking that you’re already pretty customer-centric, but ask yourself these three questions:
1. Are we customer-focused or customer-centric?
Customer-focused companies look at the customer to determine what to sell them. Customer-centric companies actually think like the customer. They try to see the world from their point of view. For example, a customer-focused approach may use A/B testing to see what ads resonate most with customers. A customer-centric approach will seek out their ideal customers, talk to them, and co-create ads with them. Simply said, customer centric companies embody the customer perspective.
2. Are you creating solutions for the long-term?
A customer-focused approach will try to identify which of your products or services would best match the wants of your customers. Using a customer-centric approach, you would instead create a solution to meet the customer’s needs and deliver a positive long-term experience.
3. Are you truly delivering value to the customer?
If you’re customer-centric, you’ll listen to what customers want and try to deliver the products they’re interested in. You’ll try to understand what the customer truly needs, focus on solving problems, and determine how to deliver the most value.
Marketing expert, Seth Godin, said it best, “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”
In short, being customer-centric means:
- Aligning your company around the customer
- Putting customers at the heart of your company
- Creating a company-wide customer-centric culture
- Putting customers’ needs first, no matter what
- Listening to customers, understanding their needs, acting, and repeating
- Offering a positive customer experience from the start of the awareness stage all the way to the post-purchase process
Human insights is the key to customer understanding
Generating human insights is critical to a deep and holistic perspective on your customers, and getting real-life customer-validated data to make business decisions is a must. Successful customer-centric brands go beyond sales reports and Big Data and seek to understand the why behind the attitudes, preferences, and motivations that influence purchase decisions. They put a priority on empathizing with their customers to develop deeper connections that result in loyalty and repeat purchase. And it shows in brand performance and growth.
Successful customer-centric brands go beyond sales reports and Big Data and seek to understand the why behind the attitudes, preferences, and motivations that influence purchase decisions. They put a priority on empathizing with their customers to develop deeper connections that result in loyalty and repeat purchase. And it shows in brand performance and growth.”
Customer-centric insights work should include:
- Obtaining a better understanding of the customer journey. The more you know about your customers on a granular level, the better you’ll understand their journey before, during and after the sale.
- Understanding how customers move in and out of relationships and why and how they buy. This will help you deliver better services and products to the right people, in the right place, in the right manner, and at the right time.
- Continuously generating customer insights is the most effective way to recognize
opportunities for growth. You can see trends and opportunities among your customer
base that can help you come up with products or solutions that your customers need—which they may not even realize yet. You may be able to expand your line of products to meet a need or provide features you never considered offering.
Clearly, there are business risks and disadvantages from not becoming customer-centric. Putting the customer at the heart of your organization and leveraging customer insights will help you stay relevant in the digital age and will ensure that you continue to deliver the quality products and services your customers love. Want to discuss adopting more customer-centric approaches to your insights work?