Customer-centricity as a business strategy has evolved from being solely about answering customer calls and resolving open tickets.
At its core, it requires businesses to embrace a change in mindset and approach when dealing with customers. It’s all about prioritizing customers to deliver an extraordinary experience across touch-points in a customer’s journey.
In this blog, I will look at what it takes for businesses to be ruthlessly customer-centric and leverage its benefit. Let’s start right away.
Top 5 strategies for a customer-centric business
1. Make Live Chat at the Heart of Customer-Centricity
“Using live chat can lead to an 87% increase in website conversions.” – Acquire
Once considered to be a nice-to-have, the live chat feature has evolved into a necessity for businesses that wish to cater to their customers 24x7x365.
The idea is to offer speedy, effective, and real-time support to users at the click of a button. Each time a user lands up on your website, they can be greeted with a warm, friendly message that encourages the customer to reach out should they have any queries:
That’s not all. Live chat offers a host of wide-ranging benefits such as:
- Connecting with website visitors instantly for seamless support.
- Qualifying and nurturing quality leads by gathering basic information such as name, email ID, etc. through the use of 24/7 forms.
- Targeting the chat to potential leads and offering useful deals, information, and reviews.
- Helping customers take relevant actions on the website, for instance, scheduling a demo, subscribing to a newsletter, among other things:
- Enabling agents to interact with customers in the right context and with updated information at all times:
All in all, the live chat feature can accelerate your efforts towards creating a customer-centric strategy for your business, that too, in a cost-effective manner. Need we say more?
2. Use Data to Drive Informed Business Decisions
What does putting your ‘customers first’ truly mean? Is it simply about churning out products/services that can cater to the masses? Or is it about giving customers exactly what they want in a more customized capacity?
I’d bet on the latter. The first step towards establishing a customer-centric strategy is to get to know your customers – from understanding their needs and wants to identifying their pain-points and purchase history.
This can be done by analyzing real-time and insightful data from diverse platforms, sources, and channels where your customers get to interact with the company. Here’s how the process works, summarized in four interconnected steps:
- Collect audience data via diverse channels and platforms (think: website, app, social media, etc.)
- Organize and create custom segments to filter the target audience.
- Identify customer buying and behavior patterns in your data.
- Convert audience insights into actionable takeaways.
3. Disseminate the Information Gathered to the Right People at the Right Time
“Why do so many companies struggle to get customer-centricity, right? The volume, velocity, and variety of customer data that now exists overwhelm many organizations. Some companies don’t have the systems and technology to segment and profile customers.” – Harvard Business Review
It’s not enough to gather all the data and let it sit on your virtual screens. The data is useless if it’s trapped in silos and not shared with the right teams. In this respect, customer-centric tools can come in handy.
By using these innovative tools, the content can be located in a centralized dashboard, allowing people to access the data anytime they need, that too, with complete context. These super-useful CRM tools offer up-to-date data at hand, which you can use to drive relevant and customized marketing campaigns and boost user engagement as well as brand loyalty. A win-win for all.
4. Anticipate Customer Needs and Strive to Push the Envelope
Much has been spoken about how customer-obsessed companies need to preempt customer needs before they even arise. Global figures such as Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, etc. have sworn by this principle.
Simply put, in today’s competitive business environment, companies need to anticipate customer needs instead of offering customers what they want after the user demands it. In other words, businesses need to go the extra mile and spend time on understanding future trends and usage patterns.
Based on years of data that your organization collects on your ideal customers, it is possible to anticipate the future market’s needs and drive innovation at an unprecedented scale. Other time-tested ways of preempting customer needs include:
- Gathering knowledge from industry research and trend reports.
- Consistently following reviews and influencers in your domain.
- Leveraging real-time tools and analytics to chart out trends and patterns.
- Taking advice from professional and seasoned advisors.
- Constantly asking the right questions and seeking customer feedback about past purchases.
- Iterating as often as needed.
5. Collect Customer Feedback and Iterate, Every Step of the Way
Frequent and consistent feedback gathering is a great way to stay in tune with your customer’s needs, requirements, and wishes.
Luckily, in today’s digitally-connected world, there are numerous ways to amass user feedback such as via online surveys, emails, SMS, phone calls, in-app messages, social media platforms, etc.:
The idea is to gather qualitative feedback and loop the insights into your product/service’ road map and business goals. This kind of proactive feedback mechanism will make the customers feel valued, and above all, heard by the brand (quite literally).
One handy piece of advice: Whenever you’re drafting any kind of feedback mail/survey, try to keep it short, focused, and simple.
“Client-centricity is the most important factor in a successful business digitalization since client-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies not focused on the customer” – Deloitte
The need of the hour is to build a ‘customer-first’ ethos into your everyday operational strategy. It is important to remember that a customer-centric culture cannot be built upon one-off email campaigns.
Organizations need to prioritize customers throughout the customer life cycle, deliver on their needs, and place customers at the heart of their operations, one interaction at a time.