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5 indicators that reveal how customer centric you really are
CloudCherry | Featured | May 2, 2017
Ask yourself this question: Is your business customer-centric?
While you might be tempted to nod your head, think about it. If you’re seeing average sales numbers, higher customer churn, and low customer satisfaction scores then you need to reassess what you’re doing.
You need to instill a solid vision for customer centricity and tie this vision to organizational goals to ensure that customer centricity is practised every single day and becomes an integral part of your business model.
But, you can’t improve something, if you don’t measure it. So, getting to the point, how do you measure customer centricity? Or what are the indicators that tell how customer friendly your brand is?
Here are 5 top indicators that tell you whether or not you place the customer at the heart of everything you do.
Does your company have a central philosophy and is it centered around the customer? We’re not talking about an entire manifesto here, but a single sentence – representing a vision – that encompasses, in as few words as possible, what your business is all about.
The Ritz-Carlton lives by their philosophy: “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” That pretty much says it all. And if anyone knows how to offer a customer experience that knocks the socks off even the most discerning human being on the planet, it’s the Ritz-Carlton.
Likewise, the Mayo Clinic has a similarly customer-centric philosophy: “The needs of the patient come first.” And everyone who works at the Mayo Clinic lives and breathes this philosophy.
The importance of a central philosophy lies in the fact that it sets the tone – a strong foundation, something to look up to – for the rest of your company. It’s the first step in building a customer-centric culture.
So, if you don’t have a central philosophy or if it is another mission statement telling everyone how you’re going to make oodles of money, then you’re really not all that customer-centric. If you do have one and it’s centered on the customer, then congratulations because you definitely pass this test with flying colors!
Does every department in your company come together – yes, we’re talking collaboration – on a regular basis looking for ways to improve the customer experience? Are they constantly focused on offering the customer the best experience and are happy to share the workload to achieve this goal?
If yes, then your business model is certainly customer-centric – at least in terms of structure and culture. All your people understand that the customer is the most important thing in their world and working together is the only way to really make that customer happy.
Or are your departments constantly at war, trying to outdo each other? Is asking them to share information like pulling teeth without an anesthetic? Would you rather shoot yourself in the foot than ask two or more departments to work together on a project?
If this is the case, then you really need to do something about your company culture because it seems that your people either aren’t aware or have just forgotten that the customer should be at the center of everything they do, and obviously more important than maintaining silos and egos. The customer doesn’t care if the sales team closed X amount in sales with/without the help of the marketing department. They perceive your brand as one single entity and are bound to expect the same quality experience irrespective of whether they are interacting with your sales or customer service or marketing team.
Do you offer customers a wide range of channels via which they can get in touch with you? Are those channels smoothly integrated, offering a truly omnichannel experience?
Offering a diverse range of communication channels for customers to get in touch with you has become a pre-requisite to form an affable, customer-friendly brand.
It’s important to be there for the customer wherever he/she actively interacts and engages with your brand. By being omni-present, you have a better chance of creating a holistic, well-connected omni-channel customer experience, meaning that they can switch from one channel to another seamlessly.
Do you constantly invest in your team? Are you focused on ensuring your employees always feel valued – cultivate factors that drive employee motivation – and cared about? Do you go above and beyond to ensure that every person in your organization loves their job?
If you’re constantly investing in your team, helping them reinvent themselves, and ensuring that they are fully engaged and happy, then you’re definitely doing something right. Because hey, happy employees ultimately result in happy and delighted customers.
On the other hand, if you find that your employees have a disconnect with customers and are generally demotivated at work, then you need to rectify the employee experience first and foremost. Remember, everyone in your company has to work towards creating a great customer experience. If they aren’t happy, they aren’t going to be treating your customers right, which will make it impossible to achieve a great experience.
Does every decision you make involve the customer in some way? Do you ask yourself how the customer will be impacted by a certain strategy or policy? In other words, do you include the Voice of Customer – a seat for the customer as well – while shaping CX strategies?
For example, if you are considering raising your prices, it’s important to analyze the motivation behind why you want to do it. If it’s to fill up your pockets, then it’s definitely not a customer-oriented decision. On the other hand, if you want to raise prices because you want to invest in improving the customer experience and integrating costly tech that makes customers’ lives better, then the decision is justifiable.
If you analyze all your decisions in this way and all the decisions you make benefit the customer in some shape or form, then customer centricity is something well imbued in your organization.
Using these 5 indicators, try to rank your organization when it comes to customer centricity. The higher the proclivity to being customer-centric, the easier it is to attract new customers, stay relevant in the market and also head of competition.
Become the exemplification of customer centricity!