Placing the customer at the center of business decisions has become a priority for business managers. However, adopting a customer-centric perspective means transformin the organization completely. Let's take a look at the factors we should consider to make our company customer-centric.
More and more organizations consider being customer-centric as one of their main objectives for the near future. Adopting a customer-centric perspective implies an important cultural change for companies, which must stop putting their own needs at the center of business decisions to put the customer's needs there instead. Thus, the path to becoming a customer-centric company begins at management level. Decision-makers are the ones who must create changes so that the transformation can happen.
According to a recent study by Econsultancy, 58% of company directors believe that customer-centricity is the most important step for implementing a true digital culture in the corporate environment, more than innovation, collaborative work or data-driven transformation.
On many occasions, when a company wants to start promoting customer-centric initiatives, managers make the mistake of thinking that putting the customer at the center of the organization is a task only for CRM, innovation, business intelligence or market business units. On the contrary, being customer-centric is a commitment that involves the whole organization.
Beyond the importance of building a strategy that encompasses all levels of the organization, the first step to be customer-centric is to know the customer. In this regard, it is essential to keep in mind that customers are changing. Digitalization has led to cultural changes that have transformed consumers' ways of thinking, living and buying.
Traditional methods of gaining knowledge about customers are no longer effective for understanding a customer who behaves differently. For example, traditional customer segmentations based on variables focused on business structure —position in the organization, company size, turnover, or sector of activity— have become obsolete. Now customer segmentation strategies must be customer-centric. In other words, we must classify customers focusing on their needs, not on the needs of the company.
Ultimately, those companies willing to become truly customer-centric must implement a customer intelligence plan to obtain the knowledge needed to drive corporate cultural change.
How to be customer-centric? Build your Customer Intelligence plan
The purpose of customer-centricity is for companies to align their processes, culture and business activities with the needs of their customers in order to better meet their demands, eliminate dissatisfaction and offer them a better customer experience.
For this to happen, knowing the customer is essential. Developing a comprehensive Customer Intelligence plan will solve our information needs and help us understand who our customers are, what they need and what are our opportunity paths.
You will find all the information you need to build a complete customer intelligence plan in our specific guide on Customer Intelligence. We explain in detail each of the steps you should follow and how to transform knowledge into specific actions that will transform the relationship with your customers.
Our Customer Intelligence plan covers the necessary steps to become customer-centric:
1. Set objectives
2. Listen to the voice of the customer (VoC)
3. Analysis of internal data
4. Data enrichment
5. Data visualization
6. Opportunity map
7. Concretion of actions and definition of KPIs
From information to action: Optimize your customers' customer journey
The actions established in our customer intelligence plan must contemplate the entire customer journey and each of the stages of the conversion funnel.
The Customer Journey is one of the best tools for getting to know the customer and detecting improvement opportunities. Mapping the customer journey of our existing or potential customers allows us to identify how consumers behave in each interaction with our brand, what paths they follow, how they found out about us and what constraints they encounter along their overall experience.
By applying the customer journey methodology, organizations are able to answer key questions about their customers such as:
- What drives customers?
- What are their needs?
- How do they behave and why?
- What pain points do they encounter during their journey?
To answer these questions, we must build the customer journey based on 5 principles:
1. Customer needs
2. Touch points between the customer and the brand.
3. Customer's expectations about our company.
4. Pain points that cause them dissatisfaction.
5. Unresolved pain points and actions to resolve them.
Customer-centric: A never-ending process
In this article we have outlined the essential steps to move from a business perspective to consolidate a customer-centric perspective.
However, just as customer needs are constantly evolving, being customer-centric is a never-ending journey. An organization that lives for the customer must never stop listening to them and should always integrate insights into its processes.
If customers evolve, but our company remains static we will never connect with them.
Before you go, don't forget to download the guide with which you can create your Customer Intelligence plan in 6 steps: