3 min read
Opinions expressed by contributors are their own. If you are a business owner or business leader, please do not confuse good customer service with being customer-centric.
Sure, having great customer service is important, but it alone does not mean that you are customer-centric. If you are customer-centric then you are probably providing great customer service as a result. But it does not necessarily work the other way around.
You see, great customer service is only one of many byproducts of being truly customer-centric. It should not be seen as a 1:1 relationship, but rather 1 to many. Being customer-centric leads to sharper marketing and branding, enhanced customer experience, greater awareness of the strategies you need to keep adding value for your customers, and the list goes on. If a business sees great customer service as the only primary outcome of knowing and understanding their customers, then they are closing the door to so many opportunities to be truly customer-centric in all areas of their business. To be customer-centric means you are intentional (maybe even fanatical) about knowing and understanding your customers so that you can solve their problems and add value. Your entire business, top to bottom, is built and revolves around knowing and understanding your customers.
Related: How to Become a More Customer-Centric Business in 5 Steps When you are fanatical about having tools and strategies and metrics and goals around better understanding and empathizing with your customers in order to increasingly add more value for them — then you can say are a customer-centric company.
There are many great strategies and tools to help you better understand your customers. Customer empathy maps, customer segment and persona templates, customer journey and experience maps all help you gain insight into your customers. You likely have all kinds of data about your customers and their buying habits with you that you can leverage to better understand them as well. There are great methodologies that help you uncover their wants, needs, obstacles, and frustrations. I like to use the Jobs to be Done methodology myself. Pick some of these tools and strategies and implement them! Do it with the intention of learning more about your customers.
Related: 5 Trends That Will Reshape Customer Service Over the Next 5 Years
Decide how you know when you, your products, and services are resonating with consumers. Does this come through via increased sales, higher engagement, more and better ratings and reviews, extra referrals? Set goals around these things. Measure them. Motivate and incentivize your teams to meet and exceed these goals. Then you can say you are a customer-centric business.
Now once you get a good handle on being a truly customer-centric company, add in some innovative ways to better serve your customers, and then watch out! You just might have a recipe that totally catapults you right to the top of your industry.
Related: 5 Tips to Retain Customers