According to Amazon’s job site, the number-one quality they’re looking for in leaders is ‘customer obsession’. Everything that the company does starts with the customer, working backwards into the business.
Given that Jeff Bezos is now among the richest people to have ever lived, and Amazon is a globe-conquering corporate superpower, it’s no surprise that the rest of the business world has started to mimic this approach. But exactly how do you effectively shift the focus to the consumer in your business?
What is Customer Centricity?
Customer centricity is a philosophy which, unsurprisingly, emphasises the customer. It places a heavy emphasis on the needs of the client and how those needs might be satisfied. It seeks to create happy customers, with the view that those happy clients will come back for more, and spread the word to their friends and family.
Listening to Customers
Of course, if you’re going to make clients happy, then you’ll need to think about what they want and need. The best way to get this information is to simply listen to them. You might do this via surveys and questionnaires – and by paying attention to any data you’ve collected on their shopping habits. If carts are being abandoned at a given point in the checkout process, for example, it might be time to analyse why. Find out what your customers are expecting, and try to close the gap between that and what you’re actually delivering.
If you make changes and upgrades to your business based on the feedback received from your customers, make sure to mention it in any store or company newsletters and emails that you send out. This will alert customers to the fact they have made a change, and even possibly cause them to take an extra trip to your store or site to check out the updates.
Investing in Customer Services
The investments you make should reflect your focus on your customers. This means that any new hires you make should share your customer focus, and the induction process should try to emphasise this. Have new hires shadow your employees that receive the most positive feedback so they can see what great customer service is up close, rather than just reading a manual. The internal systems you devise should also be constructed in such a way that the customer benefits.
The most obvious example here should be your system for processing complaints – the information collected by this system is of vital importance, and how you respond to new complaints will inform your customer’s perception of you. Eliminating inefficiencies and time waste here could therefore reap significant rewards.
You might also look to offer your customers a variety of options when it comes to payment. That way, you’ll stand the best chance of meeting their preferences. This can be done easily through modern open banking solutions.
If your customers can’t get in touch with you at all when they have a problem that needs fixing, then they’re unlikely to be satisfied in the long run. Having a brick-and-mortar store that’s able to fix problems quickly can be helpful, but you can make yourself reachable online, too. Do this through multiple channels – phone, email, and social media – to ensure that you’re catching all of those little issues.
Image Credits: Patrick Tomasso