Being customer-centric is more important than ever before. The internet levels the playing field for feedback on how businesses treat customers. With review sites, social media, screenshots, live streaming, and mobile video a business can’t hide from a bad customer experience.
This change in itself is not a reason that businesses just need to be better, but it’s driving businesses to improve none the less.
The extreme ends of a customer’s experience with a business are amplified. Unfortunately for a business, it’s the bad experiences that are the most widely publicized. Yes, a business can do extraordinary things but more times than not, a business really has to wow a customer.
Now, I know this paints a bleak picture for a business, but it really is a good thing. This is an opportunity for customer-centric businesses to thrive and separate themselves from their peers.
For a business, this does start at its core, with creating a customer-centric culture. Everything you do as a business should be looked at in the eyes of the customer. Just sit on that for a minute. How does that change your business? What practices are you doing that isn’t so customer-friendly? There are probably some practices you may or may not be proud of. Keeping that in mind will help you pull your business more towards being customer-centric. The natural gravity of your business will likely pull you away from this, so striking a balance will happen.
Granted you are still running a “business” and not a charity. There are bad customers, but you can still treat a customer with respect and benefit of the doubt without feeling like you gave in to their every need. But if you act out or act badly you have a lot more to lose then the customer.
Creating a customer-centric business has to come from its leaders. This sets the tone throughout the organization. Yes, one can make policies and training but every action and decision follows a trend and sets a precedent. Start at the top.