In 2021, companies can’t afford to not prioritize customer centricity. Learn what it means to put your customer at the heart of your business – and how to grow your sales with a customer-centric strategy.
Read on to discover:
- What it means to be a customer-centric business
- The importance of customer centricity
- Benefits of being more customer-centric
- Why so many companies struggle to get it right
- How online learning can help you grow the skills you need to become a customer-centric organization
“Customer centricity” has become a bit of a buzzword lately. But what does it actually mean?
In short, customer-centric businesses put their customer at the heart of everything they do, designing their whole operation from the customer’s perspective. The goal in doing so is to anticipate the customer’s needs and deliver a positive experience, which will have them coming back again and again.
For instance, Apple are notorious for their customer-centric strategy. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, famously said that the company’s role is to give their customers something they didn't know they wanted; and to make sure that, once they get it, they won’t be able to imagine their lives without it. This customer-centric approach has been wildly successful, leading die-hard Apple-heads to line up overnight in the hope of getting their hands on the most recent iPhone.
What can we learn from best-in-class examples like Apple’s? We believe that the most important lesson is often overlooked: customer centricity doesn’t start with a sales model, or even a product; it’s about understanding what customers need, and how they want to interact with your business.
Why is customer centricity so important?
Today’s consumers crave convenience, immediacy, and simplicity. And, with many still wary of in-store shopping, more people are taking advantage of the flexibility offered by agile eCommerce brands. During lockdown, eCommerce was up by 40.3% – but even after physical stores started to reopen, eCommerce sales remained at Black Friday-like peak levels.
Consumers also have more options than ever before – and they’re not afraid to walk away from a brand if they don’t get what they want. In fact, one in three customers will leave a trusted brand after one bad experience. This unplanned churn is costing US companies $35.3 billion each year.
Customer centricity is crucial, not just as a way to acquire new customers, but as a long-term strategy. And customer-centric companies are already seeing multiple benefits, including an increase in customer lifetime value and a reduction in churn.
The ultimate reward of a customer-centric strategy is loyalty and retention. And the long-term effects can be staggering: in fact, research from Deloitte and Touche found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable than their peers.
Even small changes go a long way: increasing customer retention by just 2% has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by 10%, according to research from SuperOffice.
If customer-centricity is so great, why do so many companies struggle with getting it right?
One study from Harvard Business Review suggests that companies struggle to become customer-centric because their culture is not built around their customer’s needs. However, our research has revealed that it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Our insights team recently conducted research on the top challenges for CPG companies across all major sub-sectors, including alcohol, clothing, food and beverage, home and hygiene, luxury, personal care, pharma, and tobacco. This research revealed that customer-centricity is one of the top challenges for global CPG companies.
A common goal for CPG companies is to eliminate the structural, cultural, and technological barriers that prevent companies from providing the best customer experience for their consumers. However, many of these companies struggle with customer analysis, targeting and personalization, putting the customer in context, and achieving brand loyalty across platforms and devices.
Many are overwhelmed with the sheer volume and variety of customer data available to them. Some don’t have the technology to segment and profile customers in order to understand their needs; others lack the digital skills to target them with personalized comms and experiences.
Here’s what they all have in common: they all need to build their digital skills in order to build customer-centric solutions.
Online learning can help your organization become more customer-centric
Circus Street is the only specialist provider of online training in digital skills, specifically designed for global enterprises. We help organizations modernize and amplify business performance through exceptionally engaging online learning.
Here’s how you can train your teams in customer centricity through one of our online training programs:
- Capitalize on customer data… through analytics training. Customer-centric companies use customer data to paint an accurate picture of their business – and proactively help their customers – for instance, predictive analytics can pinpoint when a customer is most in need of a product or service. To succeed, you need to make sure there is equal access to customer data across the business, and that everyone knows how to use it.
- Leapfrog towards first-class eCommerce… with dedicated e-commerce training. Your priority is to create a seamless omnichannel experience, and stay relevant across multiple touch-points; you may want to consider hybrid options such as drive-through or click-and-collect. You can learn all about this (and more) through our dedicated eCommerce lessons.
- Reduce customer churn… with first-class customer experience training. Learn how to put your relationship to your existing customers first by implementing a proper customer success system (including feedback and online assistance); nurturing trust through regular communication (newsletters, social media); and incentivizing your clients to engage with your brand (e.g. discounts for first-time shoppers, and referral benefits for existing customers).
Overall, the result is an education solution that gives your team the confidence, understanding and ability to become more customer-centric.
Ready to get started?