A customer-centric approach is more than just delivering good products and services. To offer the best experiences that win loyalty, your brand must consider each step of the sales journey from the customer’s point of view. By simplifying your customers’ lives and adding a personalized touch at every step, you can create the kinds of experiences that your customers are actually looking for. Here are six steps for building a customer-centric brand.
A customer-centric approach begins with defining company values. How do you want your customers to describe your brand? What goals should your employees strive to achieve when interacting with customers? Once these values are defined, they need to be shared with employees on a regular basis. For example, discuss these points at training sessions and company events, and invite employees to offer feedback on how these values may be addressed in different roles and departments.
Your employees are the backbone of your company. Take the time to employ people whose values, skills, and passion are a good fit for your brand. Employees who are enthusiastic about their roles are the foundation of a customer-centric organization. While it’s important to match individuals to roles that suit their skills, be sure to choose people who are willing to learn and improve with the goal of always improving the customer experience.
The best way to understand your customers’ experiences with your brand is by taking their perspective. Take a comprehensive look at all channels and interact with your own brand by taking the role of the customer. For example, you might test to see if technologies are working optimally. Do your IVR menus route customers quickly to the right agent? Do chatbots answer questions efficiently? Is it easy to purchase a product on your website? Be sure to test the human aspect of the customer experience as well. Are agents friendly and informative? Testing the user experience is an excellent way to discover how your brand might improve.
Is your brand offering customers the products and services they really want? To achieve this, it’s important to learn more about your customers’ habits. For example, determining their preferred channels and analyzing their purchasing habits can reveal a great deal about their product preferences and the most seamless channels for customer engagement. Most importantly, ask for their feedback in order to learn more concretely about their experiences.
No company is perfect, and customers understand that. Brand errors become problematic when no one takes any measures to correct them. When a problem occurs on a large scale—such as a website maintenance issue or a product recall—address it immediately on all channels by apologizing and informing customers about its imminent resolution. For individual concerns, accountability is equally important. Always address unhappy customers on the channel of contact, even if it means making the concern public. Everyone should see that your brand took the time to fix the problem.
Do you show customers and employees your gratitude? Reward your employees for their efforts by acknowledging their accomplishments, giving them rewards, and inviting them to share their expertise with others at company events. Likewise, take the time to show appreciation for your customers. Make gestures such as a free gift or promotion for new customers and ongoing special offers for long-term customers. According to McKinsey & Company, 70% of purchasing experiences are based on how the customer feels he is being treated. If your customers feel your company cares about their experiences, their loyalty will follow.
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