Leaders constantly juggle keeping different constituencies happy: customers, shareholders, employees, managers, labor leaders, Board members, regulators and public officials, to name a few. It’s understandable that executives occasionally lose focus while they’re trying to juggle the needs of all these groups. However, building a customer-centric organization can improve nearly every aspect of a company’s performance while keeping everyone else happy too.
What do we mean by “customer centric?” And how do you build a customer-centric organization?
Being “customer centric” is a simple, yet profound concept. Whether it’s someone inside your organization asking for information or someone outside looking to buy your services, being “customer-centric” is all about your orientation. And increasingly, it’s not just about serving customers well. It’s providing customers an experience that consistently surprises and delights them.
Here’s why focusing on the customer experience will positively influence every aspect of your business:
- In a digitally connected world, satisfied customers will create a referral base for new customers, which will increase revenues and satisfy shareholders.
- In a customer-centric organization, employees spend less time dealing with angry customers. Instead of spending time putting out fires, the company can focus on introducing new products or services.
- Being customer-centric enables companies to win accolades and recognition, which enables it to attract talented people to the organization.
- A customer-centric organization creates a strong sense of loyalty among both customers and employees. Because retention levels are high, you’ll spend less money dealing with churn.
- A customer-centric company can more easily gain support for regulations or legislation that further the company’s interests.
- Being customer-centric also helps in a crisis. The most effective way to get through a crisis is by putting customers’ needs first—whether that involves a delivering a sincere apology, a product recall, a refund or other measures. This will come naturally to a company that has ingrained the habit of putting customers ahead of everything else.
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