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  • Writer's pictureTal Nagar

What You Must Know About Customer Centricity

Customer Centricity isn't just a buzzword; it's a fundamental approach that determines the success of your business.


 

Customer-facing professionals are obsessed with the term "Customer Centricity."


So obsessed that a quick Google search yields over 20 million results!

And yet, there is no clear definition of what it really means.


This guide is for anyone interested in ensuring their business's success through Customer Centricity.


Here's what you'll find:

  • Crystal-clear definition of Customer Centricity

  • What it looks like in a business

  • The importance and benefits of this approach

 

What is Customer Centricity?


In my research process, I came across many definitions of Customer Centricity.


Each focused on different components of the term.


But something was missing; they simply didn't capture what Customer Centricity stands for.


Driven by the lack of a proper and to-the-point definition, I decided to create one by identifying the core components and putting them all together.


So here is my definition of Customer Centricity:



Customer Centricity is an organizational-wide approach


As you might have guessed, the terms and words in bold are the core components I identified.


Let's dive in and understand what they mean.


Organization-wide approach


It starts with leadership


A company will never become customer-centric if the Customer Success team remains the only team with this approach.


Here's why:


Customer Centricity is a comprehensive approach, which encompasses all of the company's departments, processes, and strategies;


from Leadership to Product and Data Analysts.


The only way to fully adopt a customer-centric approach is by starting at the very top with the Leadership Team.


Once your C-suite Executives have a clear definition of Customer Centiricty and what it looks like,


they must communicate it to everyone at the company in a consistent manner.


Otherwise, we can't expect our employees to conform and work accordingly.


Alignment (a.k.a Orientation)


Customers must be placed at the center of the company.

Following the first component, which sets Customer Centricity as an organization-wide approach,


it's time to discuss the one requirement of Customer Centricity:


the alignment of the company around its customers.

In simple words, customers must be placed at the center of the company to ensure that every action, whether it's a price increase or a release of a new feature, is taken exclusively after a value-to-customer assessment.


I want to clarify an essential point:

I know your company is for-profit and your goal is to make money.


Being Customer-Centric doesn't mean you cannot increase prices. Quite the contrary, it allows you to do that without being worried about your churn rates increasing.


When you place your customers at the center of your company, you ensure that your employees are aligned with the value-to-customers.


This way, you can easily increase the value-to-customer and make your customers less resistant to any changes in your prices.


Customers' Needs (and much more)


Holistic view = customer personas + desired outcomes + pain points

Customer Centricity provides companies with a holistic view of their customers so that they can better understand:


  1. Who they are (personas)

  2. What they want (desired outcomes, perceived value)

  3. What they seek to solve or prevent (pain points, challenges)


Understanding your customers is the only way you can deliver accurate value to the right customers at scale.


The process is relatively simple:

Create customer personas and make them as specific as possible.


Then, use these personas to create personalized and customized customer experiences.


Here is one thing you implement today that will boost your engagement rates:


Using customers' names and information when speaking with them.


This is a quick way to connect with them on a personal level and start earning their trust.


Mutually satisfactory relationships


Handshake

Customers' success and business success are intertwined - you can't have one without the other.


Not only does Customer-Centricity acknowledge the fact that companies are for-profit businesses,


but it also positions this business model as a key element.


For this reason, the primary objective of this approach is to establish mutually satisfactory relationships where both parties, the customers and the company, meet their goals.


Put differently, it allows you to increase your company profits through the focus on the customers.


Here's what Customer-Centricity actually looks like


Back in May 2022, Forbes listed their Top 100 Most Customer-Centric Companies Of 2022 (source).


Out of this long list, I've selected three brands that truly stand out.


Nike


Nike's mission is simple and straightforward:


"To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. * If you have a body, you are an athlete." Nike.com.

With Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club,


Nike provides people from all over the world with the tools, motivation, and inspiration to reach their fitness goals for free (!).


The reason why they don't limit these apps to their customers is highlighted in their mission statement;


focusing on the pain points and challenges we all have around working out, they offer solutions to help us get started.


Nike knows that once we make the decision to work out, it will be the first place we will go to for equipment and clothing.


In addition to helping us with our pain points and challenges,


Nike's website uses customers' data to customize their experiences;


for example, if you visit their website, you'll receive a pop-up message with your location.


This way, you will only see the items you can purchase at their correct prices.


Starbucks


Starbucks' mission is to -


"Inspire and nurture the human spirit - one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time." Starbucks.com.

Starbucks is incredibly attentive to its customers.


Acknowledging the change in consumption, it adopted rapidly with improved drive-thru and deliveries,


so that customers can save time without giving up on their coffee.


In addition, Starbucks encourages its customers to provide feedback and acts upon every single complaint and request it receives.


McDonald's


McDonald's mission is to -


"make delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone. This is how we uniquely feed and foster communities." Mcdonalds.com.

Before explaining why McDonald's is customer-centric, I do want to say this:


When companies remain successful for so many years, they're probably doing something right.


And now, let's talk about Customer Centricity.


Not only does McDonald's collect customer feedback, but it also acts on it.


For example, once McDonald's Identified that customers were looking for healthier menu options, it started collaborating with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.


Alongside the menu, it focused on transparency so that customers can make informed decisions based on ingredients and calories.


That's not the end, though. There is one more piece of proof:


McDonald's interacts with customers on Social Media; whether it's by sending personalized tweets on Twitter or replying to comments on its Facebook posts.


 

Wrapping up...


With a clear definition of Customer Centricity,


we can now fulfill our commitment to our customers and help them succed.


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