Placing the customer at the centre of your business is not a new concept — ‘customer-centricity’ has become something of a business buzzword. However, only a small number of companies can truly lay claim to a business model which reflects the needs of the customer, often due to the change in culture required.
Raising customer satisfaction and relationships to new heights isn’t purely a mantra for the sales and marketing teams. The evolution required involves wholesale change throughout your business operations. It should be one that aligns all departments in a way that services the customer at all points in their journey, with your brand or your product.
The journey to a customer-centric model can seem protracted. A champion is often required within the business to kick-start the conversation and identify the requisite points for action. This customer-centricity checklist can help by defining the possible changes required. Break down each task into manageable projects for your business, and get the conversation started.
The Customer-Centricity Checklist
1. Listen to your customer. Start by examining your customers, their wants and needs — not just what product you offer the marketplace. The clear focus should be on what your customers want to achieve, then work backwards.
2. Map your customer journey. Map out the potential touchpoints and landmarks with your customer. Who interacts with them, how do you communicate, who orchestrates actions and can this be streamlined? An intricate roadmap of processes and experiences can focus on and enhance various human and technological interactions.
3. Analyse. All forms of metrics and data-driven processes will help support your actions, track your progress, and monitor changes — objectively and effectively. Data is the key to customer-centricity, but you need to collect it at all points in the customer journey for full transparency.
4. Embrace the culture. This truly is about holistic change — not just sales, marketing, or customer services. Promote a culture that involves business units who are not facing customers. Back this up with policies, processes and technological support that will allow a new level of customer experience.
5. Streamline technology. Many companies have legacy technology systems which can make it harder for them to employ a clear, aligned, and efficient approach. Look at the core needs and bring data together from multiple systems to achieve customer-centricity.
6. Be agile. At the heart of customer-centricity is business agility. This should be led by example. In most cases this comes from the top with a CEO, CFO, CMO and C-suite that understands the need to put the customer at the centre of what they do, and be agile in the way the company conducts its business.