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Customers decide what lives or dies – building towards customer-centric growth

January 19, 2017

Sam Richardson

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Towards customer-centric growth

in a drive to achieve goals, organizations tend to lose sight of who their customers are. They start to see them as “things” that need to be optimized for different purposes. To turn your business into a customer-centric and profit-driving mode, you have to bring your customers to the center of your business and make them feel your honest intentions.

What´s your centricity?

Turning your business into full customer-centric mode, you have to walk the walk. Can you recognize yourself in any of these crucial don’ts?

  • Staying fully sales-focused in fear of losing business deals hence making it hard to deliver necessary customer-oriented experiences. You just want to sell and deliver your short term reports.
  • Insisting on a strict marketing focus. You will most likely end up being more or less brand- or product-centric; not customer-centric.
  • Consumers are fed up with corporate, ungraspable messages, and advertising. They want to find what they need fast and without hassle. That is in relation to the navigation of your website, the interactions with a shop/contact center, and more.

If you recognize yourself in any of these crucial don’ts, then maybe you should reconsider your strategy. Becoming a more customer-centric business will result with better alternative results.

Becoming customer-centric makes commercial sense

Consequently, without changing your own mindset or treating customer centricity as a business strategy, you will most likely fail. Becoming customer-centric is not a temporary campaign. When handled correctly, it can become your continuously growing and positively differentiating money machine.

According to the bestselling author and consultant, Peter Fisk in his book Customer Genius: Becoming a Customer Centric Business (great book by the way), you have some heavy stats to lean on in your decision:

  • 98 % of dissatisfied customers never complain, they just leave you.
  • 65 % of lost customers are due to negative experiences.
  • 75 % of the negative experiences are not related to your products.
  • The biggest reason people leave is because they don’t feel appreciated.

Your business objective should be to provide great experiences for your customers at the:

  • point of sales
  • point of service (after an actual sale)
  • different points of innovation and development in your organization

From doing this, you will benefit a lot from incorporating the voice and footprints of your customers in early stages of innovation and development. You will drive profit and gain competitive advantages that your business most certainly haven’t touched before.

Who is the right customer for your business?

Who are your most valuable customers? How do you make sure they stay happy? When you have found the recipe of success, you want to copy that recipe and apply it to more customers and prospects.

It’s your customers who decides in what way your organization should be organized to “please” them. After all, they are the source of your profits and the ones who dictate what lives or dies – eventually. In organizations with outstanding business success, corporate strategies ARE customer-centric strategies.

6 steps on the way to customer-centric growth

Let’s stop talking about fluffy business opportunities and let’s start talking about a customer-centric approach that will get your business going:

  1. You must access more data than what is generated from the static survey reports and the “experienced” gut feelings you might trust today.
  2. Start gathering customer data from multiple channels from both feedback and actual behavior – the footprints of your customers.
  3. Gather and analyze the data continuously – more or less on a daily basis; as today’s consumers tend to change their behavior very often and unexpectedly.
  4. Combine the data and analyze it deeply to better understand and categorize the needs and actions of your customers. Ask your research/insights supplier about their data science skills as well as how they solve this “issue”.
  5. Distribute the customer insights throughout your organization and provide your different stakeholders with the next best actions. This should be accompanied by the financial value that comes with the action being performed and that is related to your own KPI´s.
  6. Automate the entire process and begin to harvest the fruits of your investment.

Overall, I have only scratched the surface. To become a true customer-centric business, there is of course a number of tricky tech issues, complex analysis, specific understanding of your industry and more to consider. That’s actually our area of expertise at Nepa. So, why not get in touch with us at Nepa and we promise to get you started.

Ola Bergfeldt
Head of Global Communications