Customer Centricity

Customer Centricity Definition

Customer centricity is a powerful call to action that elevates beliefs about customer service, customer relationship management, and lifetime customer value. Good customer-centricity places the customer in the center, making them the focal point of important decisions. Delivering quality products, services, and experiences all help to develop loyalty, customer satisfaction, and advocacy.

What is Customer Centricity?

Customer centricity is simple. It’s about putting the customer in the driving seat and creating a positive customer experience before and after a sale. Focusing on customer-centricity allows businesses to organically grow customer bases, drive repeat business, and build on customer loyalty. 

A customer-centric approach isn’t only about offering exceptional customer service. It’s as important to create a culture of care around the customer and more specifically, their needs. A recent poll by Econsultancy revealed that 58% of businesses said that customer-centricity was the most important characteristic in terms of establishing a truly “digital-native” culture.

How Do You Achieve Customer Centricity?

Building a customer-centric culture is an essential component in establishing a long-term business presence. Online engagement channels have catapulted businesses into the watchful eye of the public, allowing for wider examination and scrutiny.

Putting the power back into the hands of the consumer has allowed businesses to use public engagement mediums to connect with customers and shape how their brand is perceived.

3 Steps to Drive Customer Centricity

1. Strong Leadership 

People at the very top of an organization have to adopt the same ethos and set the tone for developing a customer-centric approach. Without executive-level buy-in, there is a low chance of generating maximum impact for a customer-centric initiative. 

2. Vision & Clarity 

A specific and measurable vision means that everybody within an organization can understand the shared goal. Vision statements can be used to align language and messaging to convey new concepts which can then be used to measure effectiveness.  

3. Listening & Learning 

Customer feedback is a crucial basis for positive change. Systematic methods for monitoring and collecting feedback should be adopted by all business departments. Building a robust listening platform is an imperative ingredient and allows employees to pivot with customers as feedback inevitably changes. 

Why is Customer Centricity Important?

Competition and market saturation mean that it’s now more important than ever to set your business apart from the crowd. Achieving a positive and personalized experience for your customers is a key component in securing repeat business. 

Business models that revolve around customer centricity have been proven to drive profits and can help in gaining competitive advantages.

Customer Centricity vs. Product Centricity

A customer-centric approach focuses on a sole type of customer. The central aim is to sell a specific group of customers as many products/services as possible. 

A product-centric approach places all of its focus and effort on a distinct product/service and markets it to as many people as possible.   

What Approach is Better for an Organization?

Choosing which approach to take to drive sales depends on the nature of your business and the products or services that you offer. 

The Product-Centric Approach 

The end goal of a product-based company is to create the highest quality product. A huge amount of resources go into making sure that the product has a unique selling point that consumers can’t find anywhere else. 

The Customer-Centric Approach 

The primary objective of customer-centric businesses is to find ways of creating the best solutions for their customers by focusing on satisfaction and fulfillment of their needs. 

Customer Centricity Examples

Many famous brands use customer centricity to upend their business practices. Brands such as Starbucks, Amazon, and the Hilton Group are all perfect examples of customer-centric strategies in place. These companies created the blueprint for customer relationship management and have helped to shape what customers expect from interacting with brands. 

Customer centricity works when businesses define a consumer need and then fulfill it. For example, the Hilton Group uses a customer-centric approach to make their guests feel like they couldn’t get a similar luxury hotel experience anywhere else. It’s about providing inherent value that clearly sets you apart from your competitors.

Why is Apple Customer-Centric?

Apple is a leading example of a customer-centric company. Their whole methodology is about creating exceptional customer service that is both intuitive and engaging. Apple tasks its product designers with creating devices that they would want to use—which means that the design is customer-centric. 

Meeting customers needs is at the forefront of their business model and provides Apple with a loyal customer base who keep coming back for an outstanding customer experience. 

Product Centricity Examples

Soft drink companies are the perfect examples of product centricity in action. Marketing tactics are used to sell as many commodities as possible, which is usually the bottom line for such companies. 

These are not products that necessarily fulfill a customer need but can be marketed in a way that provides broad appeal.

What Behaviors are Customer-Centric?

These are the key customer-centric behaviors that matter the most in preparing staff to operate in a digital, customer-led climate.

1. Building Customer Understanding 

Understanding a buyer’s journey and their individual customer personas is the best way to add long-term value to your business. When frontline staff are equipped with the necessary skills to understand intricate customer needs, they can drive pivotal sales whilst enhancing loyalty at the same time. 

2. Improving Data & Digital Literacy 

The digital revolution has made it easier than ever to collect and gather valuable data about emerging consumer habits. The collation of digital data makes it possible to measure a customer’s purchase history whilst observing their pre-sales activity. This data indicates interests and spending habits which help employees make the right decisions about how to support customer journeys. 

3. Shifting to Dynamic Prioritization 

Frontline staff need to be taught how to prioritize inherently valuable tasks. This means that adequate training and development opportunities need to be put in place to make sure that a customer’s overall experience is of premium quality. Staff need to be agile, dedicated, and focused on adapting their working habits by successfully implementing knowledge on mindset shifts and changing buyer dynamics. 

How to Measure Customer Centricity?

There are several ways to effectively measure customer-centricity which include:

  • Customer retention
  • Buying frequency
  • Contact frequency
  • Churn rate

All of these are crucial elements that can paint a detailed picture of customer satisfaction. This data can then be used to analyze problem areas and help you to improve the overall customer experience. 

To accurately measure a customer-centered organization, you first need to gauge how the company talks, thinks, and acts towards its customers behind closed doors. But in general, it’s extremely tough to effectively measure both accuracy and consistency. 

In Conclusion

Customer centricity is a prime objective for a lot of businesses these days. Oversaturated markets and an abundance of choices compel businesses to go above and beyond the call of duty to stand out from their competitors. 

Businesses that don’t adopt customer-centric approaches are often left behind and are largely ignored by consumers. It’s coming to be more important than ever to invest and focus on customer journeys, whilst analyzing data to constantly improve user experience.

Updated: November 10, 2023

Join the industry leaders in digital adoption