Building a customer-centric business is essential for any company that wants to stay competitive in today’s market. A customer-centric business model focuses on understanding customers' needs, providing them with the best possible experience, and creating products and services that meet them.
Customer-centric companies prioritize customer feedback, invest in customer service and create an environment where customers feel valued. Want to drive customer satisfaction, customer happiness, customer focus, and customer experience stay ahead of the competition, and ensure long-term success?
That's why we've put together this article to help you build a customer-centric culture by leveraging customer feedback.
What Is Customer Centricity?
Customer centricity is a business strategy that puts the customer at the center of every decision and action. It is about understanding customer needs and providing an experience that meets and exceeds their expectations. To build loyal customer relationships, businesses must focus on the customer journey, from initial contact to post-purchase follow-up.
By understanding what customers want, customer-centric companies can provide tailored solutions that meet their needs. Customer centricity helps businesses increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, increase customer loyalty and advocacy, and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Why is Customer Centricity Important?
Customer centricity helps companies put customers at the center of everything they do to understand their customers' wants and tailor their products, services, and experiences to meet those needs. Creating a customer-centric culture and using customer feedback effectively helps businesses build long-term, sustainable customer relationships, increasing revenue, profitability, and success.
1. Improves customer satisfaction: It focuses on understanding and meeting customers' needs and looking at every touchpoint from their perspective to ensure a seamless experience to improve customer satisfaction.
2. Enhances brand reputation: Customer-centric companies reflect as trustworthy and reputable businesses, enhancing their brand reputation in customers' eyes.
3. Build long-term customer relations and loyalty: Customer centricity helps companies build stronger relationships by creating an environment where customers feel valued and appreciated.
4. Gain a competitive advantage: Companies must differentiate themselves from competitors by providing superior customer experiences to stay ahead.
5. Increase sales and revenue: It helps companies better understand their target market and develop marketing strategies tailored to their customer’s preferences, driving sales and overall revenue.
How to Measure the Success of Customer-Centricity?
Successful companies measure customer centricity to ensure that they deliver a great experience and that their customers are satisfied with their products or services. Several metrics can be used to measure customer centricities, such as
- Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT),
- Customer Churn Rate,
- Net Promoter Score (NPS),
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV),
- Customer Retention,
- Customer Effort Score (CES)
By tracking these metrics, companies can accurately understand how their customers view them and make improvements accordingly.
How to Build a Customer-Centric Business?
Building a customer-centric business requires a strategic approach; every customer-centric company has these characteristics. Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Understand customer journey and their needs
To be successful, businesses must have a customer-centric approach. This means understanding the customer journey, needs, and pain points to provide the best experience possible.
Knowing who your customers are and what they need is essential for providing tailored solutions to meet their expectations and create lasting relationships. Conduct market research, gather feedback, create feedback community forums, and use data analytics to gain insights into your customers' behaviors, preferences, and needs.
From understanding customer needs through research to using customer feedback data to improve products and validating product ideas, businesses must actively understand their customers to stay competitive and customer-centric.
By creating customer journey maps, businesses can gain insights into customers’ needs, wants, and behaviors to optimize the customer experience, increase customer loyalty, and support the customer-centric culture in the company.
2. Listen to the voice of the customer
Listening to the customer's voice is important for businesses and essential for understanding what drives customer satisfaction. It allows companies to identify areas to improve their products or services to serve their customers better.
According to a Microsoft Report, 77% of customers have a more favorable view of brands that ask for and accept customer feedback.
By listening closely to what their customers say, companies can better understand who they are serving and how best they can serve them. One of the greatest examples of customer-centric companies listening to their customer's feedback and using it to their advantage is Slack.
Starting in 2013, Slack is worth over $7.1 billion today and has been listening to customer feedback and concerns from the beginning. The company approaches everything with a customer-focused mindset, as many of Slack’s greatest features have come from customer feedback.
Slack listened to customers and tested its product for seven months before releasing the first version. In the words of CEO Stuart Butterfield, “When key users told us something wasn't working, we fixed it—immediately.” Customers love Slack, and its dedication to them showcases the importance of being customer-centric.
3. Collect and analyze customer feedback
Customer feedback is valuable for companies to understand customers better and become more customer-centric. By collecting and analyzing customer feedback, businesses can identify areas of improvement, get insights into customer preferences, and develop strategies to meet customer needs and provide the best possible experience to their customers.
Asana's Head of Customer Journey states, "Being obsessed with helping our customers supports the goal to create a prioritized, stack-ranked list that factors in what customers want, business priorities, and market opportunities.”
Establish a feedback culture, maintain a centralized feedback page, encourage customers and teammates to provide feedback, to create a company-wide feedback culture. Regularly gather customer feedback through feedback surveys, centralized feedback portals, user interviews, and in-app feedback widgets via various Slack, Emails, and Intercom feedback channels.
Analyze and prioritize feedback to identify common themes and areas for improvement. Identify top ideas for improving your product, prioritize the most impactful feedback with user segments around revenue and highest-value customers, matching them with your product vision.
4. Respond and communicate with the customers
Regularly communicate with your customers through various channels like email, social media, and chatbots. Ask for feedback and respond proactively to their queries and complaints to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. It is equally important to respond to negative feedback as it is to collect feedback in the first place.
Inform customers by updating the status of their feedback requests. Ensure customers know their feedback is heard by showcasing the progress. Just saying "thank you for your feedback, or that we’ll act on it soon" can make them feel unheard and unvalued.
Keep them in the loop about which requests are in-progress or planned and which are done with a public roadmap. See how Lasso uses Rapidr to create a public product roadmap to inform users about the progress of their feedback.
Valuing customer feedback and addressing it immediately is what Tesla CEO Elon musk is famous for. Tesla has the reputation of having a staggering NPS score of 96 and is one of the top examples of a customer-centric company.
Customers are so fanatic about the brand that they are often willing to wait years for a tesla car, and it's all because they value customer centricity at their core. Elon musk believes in closing the feedback loop and maintaining customer relationships from start to finish.
5. Involve all teams in the process
Empower internal teams to make decisions and take actions that prioritize the customer and their opinions. Create a culture that values and rewards customer-centric behavior. Encourage a customer-first mindset at all levels of the organization and collect internal feedback.
Customer-centricity is not just the responsibility of the sales or customer service team. Every team in an organization, from product development to marketing to finance, has a role in delivering a great customer experience. When all teams are involved, they can better understand the customer and their needs.
Break down silos, and hold monthly or bi-monthly customer support, sales, and product team meetings to keep the product development process in sync with customers' actual requests to support the product strategy. Empower your organization to access customer feedback with customer-facing teams and prioritize the best against your business goals.
When all teams are aligned around customer-centric goals, they collaborate more effectively to solve problems and create innovative solutions that meet customer needs.
6. Provide proactive customer service
Providing excellent customer service is essential for any business that wants to become customer-centric. Great customer service can help businesses build strong customer relationships, increase loyalty and trust, and drive more sales.
Excellent customer service involves understanding the needs and expectations of customers and responding quickly to their inquiries. It also means going the extra mile to ensure customers are satisfied with your products or services. By taking a proactive approach to customer service, businesses can ensure that their customers remain loyal and happy in the long run.
It would be hard to find a company more customer-centric than Amazon, with its mission statement reading, "To be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices."
Simply put, Amazon “puts the customer at the center of everything they do.” and, thus, provides equally excellent customer service. Amazon shows that valuing customer experience and listening to customer feedback is why customers keep coming back to them.
7. Continuously improve based on customer feedback
Use customer feedback to identify areas where you can improve your products, services, and customer experience. Continuously iterate and refine your offerings based on customer feedback. Boost customer engagement and product adoption by informing them about new releases and updates with product changelog.
Gathering feedback allows organizations to measure their success in delivering a customer-centric experience. By tracking metrics such as customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer loyalty, and repeat business, companies can measure the impact of your customer-centric initiatives and close the feedback loop.
Organizations can create a culture centered around customer needs by collecting and incorporating customer feedback into their decision-making process. It helps understand customer needs, identify areas for improvement, measure success, build relationships, and stay competitive in the market.
Another example of a customer-centric company is Netflix. Its frequent customer communication, content personalization, enhanced customer service, and listening to customer feedback have increased its subscription by 92 percent in the last five years. Netflix also gathers user feedback with NPS, CSAT, and CES surveys as they believe customers are not checkboxes to check but should be recognized as real partners in the company's development.
Understand the importance of Customer Centricity in Product Development
Building a customer-centric business takes time and effort, but the payoff can be significant. By focusing on your customers' needs and creating a culture that prioritizes customer satisfaction, you can build long-term relationships with your customers and achieve sustained business success.
By using customer feedback to inform decision-making and making it a core component of the business strategy, businesses can build strong, long-lasting customer relationships that drive growth and success.
While there are many customer feedback tools to help you capture, organize, and prioritize feedback, consider the one that enables you to uncover the insights from the feedback and shape your product strategy.
With Rapidr, you can collect, analyze, and organize feedback and engage with customers as their feedback moves through the development process. Sign up and set up a complete customer feedback system to build a customer-centric company culture.