If you’re looking for ways to improve customer experiences with your brand and differentiate your business, you may want to consider shaping your operations and marketing around customer centricity.
What Is Customer Centricity?
Customer centricity is a business philosophy that puts customers are the core of everything a business does. Rather than focusing on profits or growth, the business puts their shoppers, clients, or patients above everything else.
The idea is that if you put the right focus on serving customers before, during, and after their purchase, the business will prosper and succeed in other ways.
Customer centricity is similar to a philosophy that focuses heavily on customer experiences and satisfaction. But it is slightly different in that customer centricity focuses both on providing great service as well as continuously working to find strategies to make that experience even better.
When focusing on customer centricity, a brand isn’t satisfied with having happy customers. They are always working to find ways to make those customers even happier.
7 Pillars of Customer Centricity
Customer centricity can include many different pieces and elements. The American Marketing Association describes it as seven pillars.
Feedback: Being in a constant feedback loop where the brand asks for feedback and make changes directly based on that information.
Assortment: Offering a variety of products and services that meet the target customers top wants and needs.
Promotions: Developing promotions that resonate with and reward customers because they are tied to products and services they most want and need.
Experience: Making the customer experience easy, simple, and most importantly, enjoyable at every stage of the buying process.
Communications: Providing clear and relevant communication with customers and using personalization whenever possible.
Loyalty: Acknowledging and rewarding loyal, long-term customers and brand fans.
Price: Using pricing models that customers and clients think are fair and reasonable.
Making Your Business More Customer-Centric
Now that you know what customer centricity is, maybe you see an opportunity for your brand to embrace this philosophy. Or, maybe you see that your company already focuses on some of these areas and could do more to improve.
Whatever level of customer centricity you want to add to your business, here are a few ideas you can pull from to make your brand more focused on serving and pleasing your customers.
Collect and use feedback. Feedback is one of the core pillars of customer centricity as it allows a brand to gain insights that can improve other pillars. So focus on collecting and using feedback to improve other aspects of customer centricity.
Don’t conduct one or two surveys a year. Instead, make customer surveys a regular part of your business operations. Create plans that allow your brand to collect feedback all year long and at different phases of the buyer’s journey.
Don’t rely on only customers to collect information. Also, set up electronic systems ( POS systems, online analytics, etc.) that collect customer data so you can gain insight into what your shoppers and clients want and need, even if they aren’t telling you.
Additional Reading: How to Get Buyers to Take Your Customer Surveys (& Help Your Business)
Offer a better assortment. While collecting feedback, make an extra effort to collect valuable insights as they relate to your offerings. Gather specific feedback about what your customers like most and least about your products and services. Also, ask about what else they’d like to see or need from your brand, and pay close attention to your best and worst sellers to get ideas about what products to add to or discontinue.
Support better promotions. When you learn about what products and services your customer’s value most, let that be your guide to create better promotions. You can offer a more customer-centric experience by not running deals and discounts on the products and services no one wants, but rather by promoting the items your customers love.
Improve experiences. In customer centricity, it’s about more than just making the customer’s journey streamlined. It’s about making it enjoyable. Don’t just look for ways to make the process simple. Look for ways to surprise or delight customers at each phase of their purchase process.
Stary by laying out the customer journey on a map.
Look at each phase of the journey and consider how you can make changes to improve what the customer sees, feels, and does.
Don’t just offer what the customer would expect. Provide something that exceeds expectations.
Additional Reading: How to Use Touchpoint Mapping to Improve Customer Experiences
Improve communication. Consistency and personalized are key to developing a great branded communication plan. So set up a regular newsletter and blog schedule, and use personalization features to send the right messages to the right customers at the right time.
Reward loyalty. Part of being a customer-centric business is putting your customer at the center of your brand and letting them know that they are there. It’s highlighting and rewarding loyalty.
Create a customer loyalty program that rewards shoppers and clients who repeatedly return to do business with you.
Feature customers who are brand fans. Make them feel special by highlighting them on your social media, website, or in-store digital signage.
Give loyal customers extra bonuses, prizes, and exclusive access to special events or content.
Additional Reading: Why Don’t You Have a Customer Loyalty Program Yet?
Promote your pricing. Pleasing customers with pricing doesn’t always mean you have to offer the lowest prices or the deepest discounts. It just means that you must match the price with the value that customers get out of your products. Use multiple factors to create your pricing. Conduct competitor comparisons and also gather feedback from customers about what they think the benefits of your products and services are worth.
Improve Your Customer Centricity
If you want to shift more toward focusing on customers and providing excellent service and experiences at every phase of the buyer’s journey, learn more by downloading our free ebook.
How to Impress Your Customers and Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences goes deeper into the specific tools and tactics you can use to offer an elevated experience for customers and shoppers who come to your store.