A customer-centric business approach encourages customers to be more vocal about what they want from your next product or service. Customer centricity refers to knowing that your business success relies on your ability to understand customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations.
Today, customers are no longer just numbers or names on receipts. Customers nowadays are well empowered, engaged, and connected. Customer centricity is the only way to compete and win in your business areas. Customer centricity calls for doing things differently, embracing new approaches to customer engagement, and creating long-term relationships.
When embodying customer-centric behaviors, there is a wrong and proper way to do it. While it may be exciting to tap into the benefits of customer-centricity, you might find yourself doing it wrong. Your business success depends on your ability to differentiate these two ways.
When You Have it Wrong
The power shift from brands to customers during the economic downturn in the late nineties turned customers into selective individuals who choose which brands to spend money with. To win as a customer-centric brand, you need to treat your customers with respect, offer excellent service, and build lasting relationships with them.
Most companies focus on selling as many products as possible, and here is where they go wrong because this strategy no longer works in their favor. In 21st-century marketing, product centricity does not work on meeting customer needs; hence you need customer-centricity. While customer-centricity has many benefits, you can quickly get it wrong when you turn it into an obsession.
You get customer-centricity wrong when you lack innovation. Customers hardly know what they want. Focusing all your business decisions around what customers want, what they say or do, and lack of innovation becomes a real risk. Lack of innovation opens doors for competitors to develop a successful strategic advantage.
In a world where customers have overwhelming choices, customer loyalty is not guaranteed. No matter how much you focus on customers, those choosing to stay loyal to your brand are not straightforward.
Several factors influence today’s customer loyalty. According to FlexMR, 51.6 percent of customers remain loyal due to price, 27.7 percent stay loyal because of the product, and 13.2 percent stay loyal because of customer service. While, 4.8 percent of customers will keep coming back to you out of convenience.
With all customer obsessions, you’d expect customer service to be the top reason people choose your brand repeatedly. Therefore, as you make decisions, think about customers and how they think about your product, and have customers in mind at all stages of decision making.
Walking the Talk
Customer experience is now a battleground for brands. No matter your business, customer experience will always be a reference point, and customers will compare you to Netflix, Amazon, or any other brands considered the master of customer experience. Sustainability is suitable for any business.
Some days back, large businesses were solely built on product-centered approaches. Customers have since evolved, and now companies are embracing the customer-centric business approaches. Choosing between customer centricity and product centricity is the biggest dilemma you may find yourself in. While they may seem like two sides of the coin, you need both to grow.
As you continue to evaluate these approaches’ efficacies to find both advantages and disadvantages, the best solution is to leverage the power of both customer-centric and product-centric strategies.
The business world is increasingly competitive. Customer behaviors are changing, and customer-centric approaches are becoming more effective in driving business growth. As you strive for business growth and success, you cannot entirely ignore product centricity as it carries plus points that add to your business success.
A product-centric company focuses on products. It also encourages the development of newer and advanced products, notwithstanding the market demand. With a product-centric approach, products such as personalized keychains, if found to perform well, the company may decide to launch them to newer customer segments or even launch them in a new region.
You may also upgrade the quality of performing products and continuously produce advanced product versions for the market. Product centricity approach may kill underperforming product lines and devote all the energy and resources to high-performing products. Product-centric approaches don’t focus on meeting customers’ needs and challenges but present products that the customers may not have seen or realized they needed.
Get Customer Centricity Right
Companies have been trying to achieve customer-centricity for over 20 years. To build customer-centricity, operationalize customer empathy and orient your team on customer experience at the point of hiring. Ensure that you also democratize customer insights and facilitate direct interactions with customers.