Last updated: January 26, 2022 Walk in their shoes: How to build a customer-centric company

Walk in their shoes: How to build a customer-centric company

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Top brands understand that success is about customer centricity and staying closest to the customer. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once said, “If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out alright.”

Being a customer centric company that provides great customer experience (CX) can drive more revenue. According to Forrester, brands with highly rated CX improve revenue at twice the rate of brands with poor experiences. Even implementing small changes can have a big impact: XM Institute reported that modest improvements in CX performance correspond to a 34-percentage point increase in future purchase intentions.

Taking small steps to improve CX is a great start, but turning those small improvements into consistent, repeatable and codified practices can give companies a competitive edge that translates into increased revenue and market share.

4 steps to a customer centric company

In order to design and sell products that meet customer needs and build loyalty, you need to truly understand your customers and have a shared sense of empathy across the organization.

When building a customer centric company, there are four key steps to improving outcomes:
  1. Know your customers
  2. Set a customer-centric vision
  3. Be an advisor
  4. Deliver exceptional customer service

Make CX a team effort 

Customer experience cannot be relegated to one or two departments. In a true customer centric company, it should be everyone’s job. Companies have an enormous amount of data available to them to understand their customers. Having all business units accountable for customer experience with goals and reporting is one way to ensure that CX is top of mind.

Also having everyone listen to customer calls and engage in support creates better understanding and improves empathy.

Solutions can come from any department and having engineers talking to customers closes the feedback loop and impacts product innovation.

In some cases, customers aren’t sure what they want so having the best practices and out-of-the-box capabilities based on commonalities within their respective industry can help them develop the framework they need to get started.

Listen up to develop a customer centric vision 

When talking to customers and prospects, the focus is listening. And listening with the assumption that the customer must be good at what they do because they are successful and have been in business a long time.

Leadership must create that vision for the company. What does it look like to be a customer centric company and what are the outcomes we’ll achieve? By understanding how customer centricity will impact your organization and having leadership continually articulate that goal, employees can focus on their part in achieving that vision.

Be the trusted advisor to your customers

In the B2B world, being a trusted advisor to the customer is critical when making a purchasing decision based on value perception.

One way to educate and advise customers is to include return on investment (ROI) sizing as part of the engagement. By showing them what they can make versus what they invested, customers can better understand the value of your solution.

The B2B buying cycle is typically longer and involves larger purchases, making for more complex relationships with many internal roles involved and a lengthy process with lots of moving parts. Yet the end of the day, it’s still a human being, not “a company,” who ultimately makes the decision whether or not to do business with you.

One way to advise customers is by offering industry benchmarking to provide insights on how they are doing against their peers. These best-in-class KPIs and benchmarks show customers how to track value right out of the box.

Provide post-purchase support

Being a customer centric company doesn’t stop once the deal is signed. It’s a continual process. It’s important to continue to service that customer and meet their needs as they begin to implement your product and need assistance to maximize the value they’re receiving.

There should be a customer feedback process that happens on a regular basis where a customer success team can engage with customers to find out how they’re doing and advocate for them within the organization. Often with enterprise software. the strategy, process and change management pieces are critical to a successful implementation. It’s also important to celebrate successes and build on what’s working well.

Delivering a superior customer experience takes commitment to drive specific and measurable actions throughout your organization. And it takes practice to consistently put these actions into reality.

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Kevin Anderson

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