Customer-centricity in a time of crisis
The world is adapting to some rather strange times. Social distancing, self-isolation, and panic purchasing are concepts that humans are getting familiar with as our new reality. And in these times, there are companies that will rise up to the challenge of not only meeting, but transcending customer expectations through unparalleled customer service.
Local small businesses and grocery stores have decided to assist some of the more vulnerable shoppers with pensioner shopping hours. Every Wednesday, shops like Pick ‘n Pay are planning to open an hour earlier to allow the over 65s an opportunity to grab essentials without the risk of being exposed to a large number of people. This shows compassion and proactive customer centricity at its best.
When implemented well, this kind of customer-focused strategy can foster goodwill, builds brand loyalty, and aligns a brand with being a caretaker of its customers – not just a big corporation focused on profit. Denise Lee Yohn of Harvard Business Review believes that many businesses shy away from this kind of thinking because of a lack of customer-centric organisational culture.
In fact, the Chief Marketing Council (CMO) recently reported that only 14% of marketers say that customer centricity is the hallmark of their companies. But, increasingly, businesses are being called to promote a philosophy of shared value and giving back. Those that go above and beyond to put the customer first are seeing phenomenal growth. Just think of Amazon.
Here are a few ways to orientate your business with this model that are simple and incredibly effective.
6 tips to embrace customer centricity:
- Be a customer
Take an honest look at what the customer experience is like from the moment they arrive at the curb outside your business until they arrive home – or from the second they land on your site, right up to check out and delivery.
How are the interactions? What is the tone? Is it meeting the customer expectation? Create a strategy that is simple and flexible to meet needs at every touchpoint. If you’re not sure what your customers want… ask them!
- Be purposeful
Let every connection be focused on the same vision. If you want a family-friendly environment, are you making your business feel safe and inclusive?
If you want working singles, do you offer fast, easy options?
- Be proactive
Our world evolves at the speed of light so you need to ensure that the way your company operates can accommodate change effectively. What is working this morning might not work this afternoon. Keep asking “What can we do better?” and “What are we doing the best”?
- Be empowering
It is essential to hire the right people. And it is equally as important to learn from your employees. In most cases, they have the first engagement with customers, so they know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
Listen when employees talk. But also create a customer relations process where they see their ideas in action.
- Be data driven
Every digital experience gives you information. Most companies do not know how valuable this information is and keep it stored away. With the right tools, you can translate data into pure knowledge that will help you coordinate a better customer experience.
Your current customers are your best resource for getting new customers. Remember, it’s also pivotal to communicate how you’re actively safeguarding your customers’ information.
- Be educated
With an abundance of opinions and strategies available on the internet, it can be difficult to carve out the right strategy for you and your management team. That’s why the right continuing education can propel your company to a newer, better mode of operations.
Enrol in our customer centric management programme to set a steady foundation of how to prioritise your clients in everything you do. Customer satisfaction is a moving target and requires constant innovation. Businesses need to continually educate in order to innovate. USB-ED has curated the best strategies for sustaining and evolving a customer-centric organisational culture