Companies with a customer-centric business model are 60% more profitable than those who didn’t implement this business model according to research from Deloitte.

There are a lot of articles about customer-centricity, but fewer guides that the companies can follow. So, firstly, we’re going to talk about the biggest misconception:

Customer-Centered vs Customer-Centric

Being a customer-centered company (or customer-focused) means paying great attention to the needs and opinions of customers.

On the other side, according to Wharton Professor Peter Fader, customer-centric means that:


“Testing starts several weeks before launch and ramps up till launch day. After launch, we monitor these titles on different device platforms across all countries.” — source: netflixtechblog.com


Many steps need to be taken to become customer-centric, so we are going to start with the first and most important step in building towards the structure of a customer-centric company.

1. Build a CRM

Peter Fader suggests building a CRM and keeping it simple, then adding to it later on. Also, a good idea is to have Customer Segments Managers, not just Product Managers. Here are some metrics to keep track of:


2. Find the highest-value customers

In this video of Peter Fader, who talks about customer-centricity and why it matters, he says for you to become a customer-centric company you need to have the ability to understand customers (CRM helps a lot at this one), and to differentiate customers who are valuable from the ones who aren’t.

So here are some aspects you need to take into consideration when defining the highest-value customers:


3. Create products for customers, not the other way around

With a CRM built, and with the highest-value customers into the spotlight, you can focus on providing the best value to them so they can solve their needs, not creating many products or services for a generic entity.


4. Ask For Feedback Often

I talked before about keeping track of the feedback customers give you, but it’s time to explain why feedback is so necessary when being a customer-centric company.

Being customer-centric means putting customers at the heart of your strategy, and your focus won’t be on sales or usage figures anymore, but on the feedback you receive.

An example of how this works is Uber who relies a lot on the customers’ reviews. With simple taps on the mobile app, you can rate the driver from zero to five stars. This way, Uber manages its internal business structure by keeping the employees who treat their customers better than the others.


5. Do Constant Test and Iteration

Imagine this, you have a high-value customer and you want to implement a big product update, but you’re not sure if it could really help them and you don’t want to spend too many resources on it if it doesn’t work out. Use Agile and Design Thinking methodology — ideate, prototype, test with customers, and implement.

Take Netflix as an example, they have an excellent streaming platform because they always conduct A/B tests to deliver the best experience for their customers.


“Testing starts several weeks before launch and ramps up till launch day. After launch, we monitor these titles on different device platforms across all countries.” — source: netflixtechblog.com



TransferWise says they put their customers first, so each team’s success is measured by the positive impact they made each time for the customers.


6. Focus on customer experience

As a customer-centric company, this is what you’re building besides your product. Focus on this and you’ll increase your CLV by a lot as 8 in 10 customers are willing to pay more money for a better experience.

Ikea created a loyalty program called “Ikea Family” for people who are passionate about homes.



“Both ideas would make the member feel like they’ve contributed in a meaningful way. The member, therefore, will be much more likely to place a higher value on their membership because they’ve had some input. In turn, this will translate into higher engagement.” — source: www.rewardoco.com

7. Add Personalization

Slack is a great example of a customer-centric company, at first, they used word-of-mouth for marketing and 8,000 people signed up on the first day.


“Slack believes that every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity.” — source: clickup.com


8. Feature your high-value customers

Like every human being, customers want to feel important and they want to feel like they played a role in shaping your brand and your story, so include them on your website, or in any marketing campaign.


9. Engage with them

And lastly, you want to encourage them to speak to you and to get to know you. You want to show that you care and the best way to do this is to engage with your customers and potential customers on social media. Many things get shared with their friends, after all, you get free marketing.



Lastly,

Becoming a customer-centric company takes effort and time, but the reward is bigger to a company, and to a customer altogether, when focusing on the right customers, building the product or service around them, improving the customer experience, and engaging with them whenever possible to maximize word of mouth and increase profits.

October 5, 2020

Andreea Encutescu

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Brand & Web Designer