Are You Really Customer Centric? | By Jana Love

Do I start with what Customer Centric means, because I feel like there are a lot of companies out there that give this responsibility to the sales and customer service departments only, when in fact, this is the mistake. Real customer-centric businesses invest the whole team focus on supporting their prospective and existing customers.

    To really accomplish this, don’t you really need to understand your customers buying behavior? The answer is a resounding, YES. The best way to do this is to place yourself into your customer’s shoes and experience exactly what happens when you serve your customers. Turn yourself into a customer and send yourself through the entire customer experience from when a customer first recognizes they have a need, to how they research online and then choose a solution to their meet their need.

    In addition to understanding your customers’ behavior, understanding or defining your customer buying cycle is also an important exercise. Create a customer profile for your typical customer and be as detailed and specific as you can. Enlist a small group of your customers to help you define their buying patterns. For example, ask them questions like: what is important to them, where do they go for information, how do they communicate?

    The next best step is to make sure you use all information you have gathered. Meaning, take good notes and use them. Make sure you are using a good CRM tool. This will help you to manage your relationships with accuracy and consistency. Customer loyalty ends and begins with the knowledge of how you know your customer, and how you show them you know them.

    Once you have established the understanding of your customers’ behaviors, their buying cycle stages, and start to populate a CRM system, now it’s time to improve all customer touch points that they will encounter in your business. These touch points are the greatest opportunity you have for your customer to remember you ~ good or not so good. This is also the greatest opportunity to create unexpected “wow’s” for your customer. Remember to enlist your entire operation as you focus on improving the customer touch points.

    Being or becoming truly Customer Centric doesn’t mean a few choice departments have their eye on the customer ball, it means EVERY department, EVERY employee and EVERY system is focused on creating the most memorable customer experiences. Need help?

    Cindy Ott
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