What Does It Mean to Be Customer Centered?
Did you know that some of the most successful companies in the world run a customer centred approach? A recent article was published highlighting the top ten companies rated by J.D. Power. They range from automotive, to finance to insurance; but they all have one main similarity, and that is that they are customer centered. A customer focus is one of the main factors in business success. So what does it actually mean to be customer centered, and how do you know businesses are following through in the process?
A Customer-Centered Business:
Listens to Their Customers
They get to know their customers, understand their needs and then act on it. TD Bank is a great example of this. One of the reasons they have landed the first in overall customer satisfaction on J.D. Power’s annual Canadian Retail Banking Satisfaction study for the last 10 years is that they listen to their customers. They have launched marketing campaigns such as #TDThanksYou which gave away big ticket items to customers, to simply ensure that systems like their online banking system, are in tune with what customers are asking for. They listened and they delivered.
Is Not Product Focused
A customer-centered business starts by shifting the focus from creating the best product to creating the product that solves customer needs. They develop products from what a customer would want, rather than what the developer thinks is best. Although it can seem much easier to have one line of direction that focuses on the product costs, development and performance it can come at a cost when poor customer experiences happen.
Companies who invest in departments focused on customer satisfaction and really study their consumers have far better performance. Amazon is a great example of a company that uses customer information to personalize the customer’s experience and they develop products that are first and foremost based on the customers.
Gathers Customer Feedback
Getting feedback from the customer ensures that you are constantly catering to their needs. As trends change, so do customer wants, so it’s important to keep consistent with customer feedback. You can’t rely on your customers to come to you with their opinions and so by encouraging in house guest feedback, social media and online review you can gain powerful knowledge about what your customers want and focus your strategy around the information.
Consider The Overall Customer Experience
Since 1991 Lexus has continually topped the JD Powers Customer Service Index survey. One of the reasons is that they are on the list is that they care about every detail of the customer’s experience. Not only do they produce a product that the customer wants, they ensure that the all the steps from the initial greeting, buying process and the follow up every detail is discussed with their team and an overall part of their business strategy.
A customer-centered business not only provides great customer service but they put the customer at the core of their business, and work around them to create the best practices from the information gathered. As customers become more selective making the shift from your brand or product to a customer-centric model is what sets average businesses aside from those that stand out. Learn more about creating a customer-centric strategy from our powerful business coaching team here at Nine Business Group.
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