What is your company’s primary focus? Before you respond with an automatic “why, the customer, of course,” stop and formulate a completely honest reply. Many businesses sincerely believe that they are customer-centric–focussed on the customers they serve–when, in fact, they aren’t at all.
Once you fully understand what a customer-centric company looks like, you will be better equipped to formulate a truthful answer. Maybe your business truly does put the customer first. And, if it doesn’t, you will now have the knowledge needed to make some positive changes.
So, what, exactly, constitutes a customer-centric company?
They’re Connected with the Customer
Ideally, your company needs to play a vital role in your customers’ lives. They need to feel that they can rely on you, that you are trustworthy, and that you serve a valuable purpose for them.
One way to do this is by providing personalized service. As “4 Reasons Why Your Business Should be Customer Centric” states, Amazon is a prime example of this, making their customers’ lives easier by enabling them to comparison shop, view suggested products, and use Sunday delivery. Quite simply put, Amazon possesses an uncanny ability to pinpoint a customer’s needs and go out of their way to meet them.
Their Philosophy is Customer-Centric
Most companies are guided by a central philosophy–a set of core values that drive the company’s culture, its goals, and its every action. If your philosophy is not customer-centric, your company won’t be either. Forbes‘ “7 Secrets of Building a Customer-Centric Company Culture” offers up the Ritz-Carlton’s “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” or the Mayo Clinic’s “The needs of the patient come first” as prime examples of philosophies that guide a customer-centric business.
The Whole Team is On Board
It is important that you hire, promote, and train with your guiding principle of customer centricity in mind. Every action must be done with the customer in mind, whether it’s ensuring the right stock is on hand, maintaining clean public washrooms, or taking the time to demonstrate a product’s feature. Each member of your team plays a vital role in turning an abstract philosophy into a concrete reality and creating a culture that is focussed on the customer.
This means hiring the right people in the first place, and providing them with the training and support required to make customer-centric service an intrinsic part of their work persona.
They Value the Details
A customer-centric company recognizes that the “little things can make a big difference.” For example, “Creating a Customer-Centric Company that People Love” explains that a florist who consistently offers to walk a client out to their car to secure the flowers in their passenger seat demonstrates that small actions can have a lasting impact on a company’s relationship with its clientele. Does your company go that extra mile–or, in this case, yard–to satisfy your customers and keep them coming back?
We all love to be the center of attention–and your customers are no different. Plus, they deserve your undivided focus. After all, they are your bread and butter. Your reason for being. So, give them the attention they deserve and watch your business boom.
Is your company meeting your customers’ expectations? A customer-centric business strives to exceed its customers’ expectations. Check out “Do Your Customers Get What They Pay For?” to see how you’re doing.
About the Author
Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and huge fan of any business that makes it “all about her.” You can follow her at The Embiggens Project.