Is your organization customer-centric or customer-focused?
- Posted on March 28, 2013
This article was originally written by Avanade alumn Ken Ramoutar.
Ever had a really bad customer experience and think “What do these guys know about customer service – why am I doing business here?” Everyone has had a bad experience at one time or another, but a really good customer experience is like gold when it comes to your loyalty and the lifetime value of your patronage. Perhaps you went to buy something complicated and the sales person really knew their stuff, or you arranged to get service on your car and everything worked out perfectly (even better if it was under warranty).
Good experiences demonstrate a level of customer focus by the enterprise. Great experiences time after time, even as the economy, products, and your preferences change, demonstrates a level of customer centricity. Sure it might be just semantics but there is a real difference in what it takes for an enterprise be customer-centric.
The recent Global Consumer Pulse Research by Accenture reveals some compelling facts about how consumers behave and perceive company practices.
- Word-of-mouth remains the main information source across industries when learning about products and services
- Most people turned to one specific company / brand without really considering any others
- The major source of frustration is having the company promise one thing but deliver another
One thing that stands out is that customer loyalty becomes habit if the experience remains positive, however, miss a promise and loyalty is easily broken.
Customer centricity is a strategy that organizations embrace. It’s about reorienting the entire business operating model around the customer, increasing customer satisfactions and business profitability in the process. It is about making strong connections across key business processes such as product development, supply chain, sales, and service.
Here are a few ways to tell the difference:
A customer-centric approach can add value to a company by enabling it to differentiate itself from competitors who do not offer the same experience.
Now ask yourself, is your company customer-centric or just customer-focused?
Read Part 2 of this post: "Leveraging Digital and Data to Create a Customer-Centric Organization."