“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them,
but to exceed them—preferably in unexpected and helpful ways”.
~ Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
What Does Customer-Centric Mean?
If you ask ten people, you may get ten different answers. If your organization’s vision is customer-centricity, then we’d better agree on a single definition and what that entails.
According to Investopedia, “customer-centric is an approach to doing business that focuses on creating a positive experience for the customer by maximizing service and/or product offerings and building relationships.”
Customer-centric organizations ensure the customer is the epicenter of the organization’s vision, processes, operations, and most importantly, service excellence. Customer-centric organizations understand that their customers are the primary reason for their existence. They use every means to deliver an exceptional experience – what we call Positively Outrageous Service® (POS) – an experience that generates an undeniable feeling. Feelings feed into experience. An elevated experience enhances the relationship. An enhanced relationship ensures intense customer loyalty, revenue growth, and recommendations to others, generating additional customer referrals.
According to KPMG, 88% of CEOs are concerned about customer loyalty, recognizing that their customer needs and agendas are vital to success.
Business is all about relationships. Your customer’s experience elevates or undermines that alliance. There is no middle ground. Every experience and interaction with your organization’s processes and people impact their experience of you and hence the relationship. The customer experience is not centered on your product offering – it’s the experience surrounding and enhancing your offering.
We have a saying, “everything you do sends a message – everything you don’t do sends a message.” Every internal decision we make – how we handle every action, email, telephone call, delivery, problem, resolution, and process impacts the experience and, hence, the customer relationship.
Just imagine you’re a customer and have an issue with a business, and it takes 14 emails back and forth to resolve it. We know the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place – context is lost in the maelstrom. There’s miscommunication and misinterpretation galore. You’d have a whole lot of pent-up frustration and emotion, wouldn’t you? Would you want to deal with that business again?
The customer-centric agenda starts and ends with the needs of the customer. Customer-centricity is a business methodology that cultivates a positive customer experience at every phase of the customer journey. Every time a customer-centric organization makes a decision, it passionately considers its impact on the customer.
Furthermore, customer-centric organizations realize that Positively Outrageous Service starts internally.
Two things to remember:
- Positively Outrageous Service is infectious. There is a direct correlation between a decision to Positively Outrageously Servicing your team and the impact on the customer. Studies show that for every two percent improvement in employee engagement and satisfaction correlates to a one percent increase in customer satisfaction that results in a two percent increase in customer revenue.
- Everyone has a customer. We sometimes hear that our team or an individual isn’t in the front-line serving a customer. Everyone has a customer. Everyone in an organization interacts with others. Everyone who gives another’s support, interface, process, or relationship is serving that internal customer.
To successfully attain the customer-centric vision through Positively Outrageous Service requires more than a periodic feel-good buzz or the program/initiative of the month or year – it requires a cultural change. “A culture is a community created and cultivated by what we consent to, communicate, champion, and celebrate.”
Let’s get client-centric and passionately Positively Outrageous Service the message we send with every choice we make and its impact on the customer experience and ultimately the customer relationship.
We look forward to you being Positively Outrageous in your client-centric decisions!
“Customer satisfaction is worthless; customer loyalty is priceless.” ~ Jefferey Gitomer