Exploring The Customer-Centric Approach
If the Customer is King, isn’t it obvious that your business and marketing strategies must be designed keeping your customers in mind? A Deloitte report that states, “Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable” reiterates the fact that designing a customer-centric approach is more valuable than focusing simply on profits.
But what exactly is a customer-centric approach and how can you adapt it in your business practices? Let’s explore!
What is the Customer-Centric Approach?
The term may seem self-explanatory but a customer-centric approach is a complex process that requires the brand to have an undeterred commitment towards its customers and regard them as the number one priority while formulating business and marketing strategies. The prime focus of most businesses is generating revenue and increasing profits but a customer-centric business or brand places its customers before revenue.
A customer-centric approach is where all departments of an organization put the customer above everything else and work towards building a brand that’s modeled to appeal to and appease the needs of its customers. It is also important to note, that the term is called customer-centric approach and not a strategy or technique. Customer-centricity is all about creating a culture wherein a brand takes tangible steps to put its customer above its product or service.
Advantages of a Customer-Centric Approach to the Brand
Although customer-centricity may not seem like a profitable move at first, it does offer great benefits to the brand in long run. Customer-centricity offers tangible returns and significantly improves brand value. Listed below are some of the many advantages of building a customer-centric brand.
- Builds Brand Loyalty – One of the most powerful strategic advantages of building a customer-centric brand is that it boosts brand loyalty. Loyal customers are an asset to any brand and help in distinguishing the brand from its competitors. They directly impact retention rate, have a considerable influence on customer acquisition rate and also help in building a strong brand image. They act as brand representatives that positively influence their network and help with market penetration.
- Gives a Competitive Edge – Almost every other brand in recent years places profit above its customers. Building a customer-centric brand helps you to develop an emotional connection with the audience. This gives the brand a competitive advantage and a distinct brand identity.
- Improves Customer Satisfaction – A McKinsey report states that, “70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.” Customer satisfaction has a direct impact on customer retention rate. A customer-centric approach helps in keeping the customers happy and satisfied. A happy customer is unlikely to disengage from the brand and prefers to remain associated with the brand for a prolonged period of time. Satisfied customers are also strong brand advocates and help to bring in new customers through referrals.
- Build Brand Credibility – Building brand credibility is no easy feat. With the growing competition, it becomes difficult to sustain let alone build credibility. A customer-centric approach can help the company to sustain itself in the market and more importantly build credibility which can prove extremely valuable for any brand in the long run.
- Increases Revenue –When a brand starts focusing on its customers, their needs, their reviews, their satisfaction, it has a direct impact on the company’s revenue. Loyal customers, a strong brand following, credible brand image, significantly help in boosting revenue and profits.
Read an in-depth white paper on how you can cultivate emotional loyalty among your customers.
Creating a Customer-Centric Brand
Creating a customer-centric mindset is the first step to this approach. It is not a one-and-done strategy, it is more of a consistent approach that comes to fruition gradually. Listed below are some crucial steps to creating a customer-centric brand.
- Know Your Audience – The most crucial step to building a customer-centric brand is to know and truly understand your audience. Take time to study your target group. Learn about their purchase behavior, their preferred brands, their needs, their expectations, their dissatisfaction and other such details. A good way to begin your study is through competitor analysis and then design your strategy to address the needs of the customers that your competitor fails to cater to.
- Collect Data – Data is everything. Your audience communicates more through data than they would through other channels. Collect and analyze customer data, it will help you understand your brand positioning, make accurate projections and anticipate customer behavior. First-party data can help you with targeted marketing and raise flags on issues you may have missed.
- Engage Your Customers – Customer engagement is of utmost importance. A Walker study found that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Engage your customer on various channels and learn more about them, make your brand accessible and approachable and invest in engagement activities for long-run gains.
- Take Feedback Seriously – According to a report by Microsoft, “52% of people around the globe believe that companies need to take action on feedback provided by their customers.” Customer feedback can provide great insights into customer’s expectations from the brand and their satisfaction levels. Taking accountability and working on feedback is the crucial step to build a customer-centric approach and also helps to win over disgruntled customers.
- Be Intuitive – Anticipating your customer’s needs and behavior is another crucial aspect that will help you to build a customer-centric brand. With time, customer expectations have grown considerably. To provide the best possible customer service, you must anticipate your customer’s needs and address their problems even before they raise the issue.
- Improve Customer Experience – According to Grand Review Research, in 2020 the customer experience management market worldwide is worth as much as $7.6 billion. This says a lot about the importance of customer experience. Customer experience is the amalgamation of onboarding and offboarding process and covers various aspects such as customer support, point-of-sale experience etc. Improving overall customer experience can impact brand loyalty and strengthen brand and customer relationships.
- Build a Healthy Rapport – “95% of customers say their trust in a company makes them more likely to remain loyal to that brand”, states a report by Salesforce. Aim to build a healthy rapport with your customer based on trust and understanding. Developing a bond that is not just based on transactions is the basic groundwork required to build a customer-centric brand. Make your audience feel heard, supported and acknowledge their importance for a healthy customer-brand relationship.
Click here, to read more about how to keep your customer happy and satisfied.
Building a Customer-Centric Brand with Annex Cloud
Loyalty programs are an excellent means of upgrading your brand and adopting a customer-centric approach. Rewarding or incentivizing your loyal customers through loyalty programs improve customer engagement, satisfaction levels and provides vital first-party data. Annex Cloud can help you design bespoke loyalty solutions that resonate with your brand values and aesthetics and deliver tangible results. Connect with our Loyalty Experience Manager to know how you can create a customer-centric brand with the help of dynamic loyalty programs.