Every business, whether small or enterprise, is following the customer-centric work culture today. Each decision is made by keeping a customer at the center. What’s more, the concept has gone way beyond the abstract as several organizations are making this shift towards having a more customer-centric work culture by 2020, says a survey by Gartner.
In spite of the obvious benefits, there are businesses who are unable to commit to making this positive change in their operational, procedural and behavioral structure that is required to truly put their customers at the forefront.
The hesitancy exists. That’s because young businesses feel that if they only concentrate on a customer-centric business strategy, how will that help them in meeting their overall organizational needs and goals.
But who is fueling these businesses so they scale up to the next level? It’s their customers. Therefore, if small businesses and bootstrapped start-ups are not delivering for their customers, they will soon meet an untimely demise.
Customer-Centric Work Culture is a Way of Doing Business
It is more than just providing a good service. The idea is to offer a positive CX both pre and post-sale so that the customer is driven to give your company repeat business, thus enhancing customer loyalty and scaling profitability in the long run.
Here, the business needs to fully understand the importance of customer experience and the part that it plays in the entire scheme of things. Right from the awareness stage to purchasing followed by post-purchase, the CX needs to be top-notch. It’s a strategy that is based on putting your customer first, and at the heart of your business.
A recent survey by Econsultancy found that 58% of their respondents believed that being customer-centric is one of the most important characteristics of establishing a truly digital-native culture. Take the example of Zappos and Amazon, companies that have invested a considerable amount of time in creating a customer-centric work culture.
Breaking Down Customer-Centricity
The three key areas for a small business to transform into one with a customer-centric work culture primarily depends on:
- Listening to their customers
- Understanding customer requirements
- Advocating and actioning on the feedback received
For any business, big or small, it is essential that they gather feedback from their customers. One way that young businesses do that is by employing periodical surveys that are shared with their customers.
There are a number of websites where you can find survey questions examples. This can be a starting point that can help you shortlist the questions that help you understand what customers want from your business. You also get to learn what areas they’d like your business to improve in and how to enhance your support process to create a seamless experience for every customer.
So, it is time you create surveys to capture customer feedback that helps you deliver customer-centric service to all. To design the customer feedback questionnaire, you can use an online survey maker, which allows you to access professionally designed survey templates.
Every step of this phase is absolutely critical that needs support at both individual and organizational levels. A vital element here is your employees whose work eventually impacts your customers directly. Without creating any dissociation between the two, businesses must see to it that the gap between employee and customers are bridged so that employees are able to listen, understand and advocate the needs of the customers.
Amplifying the voice of the customer via shared channels and company experience is what builds the foundation of a customer-centric culture for the business.
Pillars That Build A Strong Customer-Centric Work Culture
How the business strategically intertwines their customers and employees is what determines its fate. Having said that, organizations can focus on these pillars that can help to expedite the process:
Employees are Empathetic Towards Customers: It is a new concept, but important, nonetheless. Harvard Business Review indexed the top 100 most empathetic companies where the top 10 generated 50% more earnings compared to the bottom 10. It can be inferred from this that even though customer loyalty was a major contributor, having engaged employees helped to generate these profits too.
It makes sense for employees to feel connected with the customers’ needs on a personal level. It makes the experience more fulfilling when employees delve deeper than faceless complaints, thus making the solution process even more rewarding. This allows you to enjoy benefits like:
- Understanding the customer pain points and providing support accordingly
- Creating a personalized experience for customers
- Building a delightful experience for customers that prompts them to reach out the business every time
- Increasing the brand loyalty factor that helps your sales improve
Your Employees Understand How Their Work Affects the Customers: Brad Smith, CEO, Intuit, in a Forbes interview said, “Clear a path from work to customer … The best reward for employees is seeing the profound impact of their work on the lives of our more than 50 million customers.”
Let your employees see the impact of the work that they do. This insight into their daily tasks aligned with the end result is the key to making their jobs meaningful. Just knowing something at the back of your mind is never enough. It is the overall experience that counts which then automatically translates into the world of superior customer service.
To help your employees see the impact of their service, you can share the customer’s feedback and let them learn what they liked and disliked during their journey with the brand. In case your employees have performed well, you can share their achievements at a shared platform. This will lead to two outcomes.
- One, the employee would feel appreciated for its work and would put in some extra effort to deliver better results
- Two, other employees would feel motivated to perform better to gain the same recognition.
And, both these outcomes help you boost the productivity of your team members which definitely works for your business growth.
This evolution to transforming young businesses into customer-centric organizations is a long drawn and complex process. Even the minutest of change in policy can have substantial advantages for customers, employees and the business too.
Building a customer-centric work culture means you truly understand the potential of customer value. As Peter Fader, Professor – Marketing, Wharton University masterfully puts it, “By putting forth the effort to better understand the habits, tendencies, and value of each and every one of our customers, you can build better, stronger, and more profitable companies.”