Customers are the strongest decisive and influencing factor when it comes to making decisions in a business. There has been a steep rise among organisations to bring a more customer-centric approach in their work culture, but without much success. A mere 10 to 14% of marketers believe that customer centricity is the part of their companies’ work culture.
Today, with the explosion of information on the internet, there is a huge amount of data at disposal for businesses to analyse and understand their customers. The problem comes when companies don’t have the necessary mechanism to utilise this data to bring in customer-centric culture.
I agree that a customer-centric work culture cannot be adopted overnight. Rather, it is the result of continuous efforts invested for a prolonged period of time.
Here are five ways through which you can create a customer-centric culture at your workplace.
1. Practice Customer Empathy
Empathy needs to be practiced at every workplace. When you do so, you make customers feel valued, which makes them feel better. Moreover, it reduces conflicts between you and your customers, which further helps in building better relationships with them.
To practice empathy in your startup, you need to bring a fundamental change in how you provide support to your customers. The focus should be on how you make the customers feel taken care rather on automated metrics. Look at the customers as individuals and not merely a source of revenue, this mentality will itself bring a fundamental shift in giving better customer experiences. Perhaps, at times when you cannot deliver solutions, you can provide empathy to the customer and lend an ear to hear their problems.
2. Hire for Customer Orientation
From the induction program itself, orient your employees towards a more customer-centric mentality. Focus on hiring employees who already have a customer-friendly mindset.
Train your HRs and ask them to prepare interview questions that can judge the customer orientation of the interviewees. When you start giving importance to customer service from the hiring process itself, it would be very clear to your managers and new employees how high your customers are in your priority list. Definitely, great customer service skills can be practiced and learned but hiring employees who are already customer-centric can produce better results.
So, it is very important for a business to develop a hiring process that can recruit individuals that have a customer friendly attitude.
3. Encourage Customer Communication
Communication is always the key to building a better relationship. So, when you are running a business, you must develop ways that can help your employees be in constant touch with your customers to understand their needs. Even if an employee deals with back-end operations, make sure that they engage with customers off and on. The reason being every employee in some way or the other does impact the customer experience. So, when employees engage with customers more often they will understand them better and the best part is there would be clarity on what customers really want.
Business leaders should ensure that they create proper communication channels for a better understanding between customers and their employees. Allow all of your employees to observe sales and support calls, customer visits, and let them be a part of the decision-making process.
With companies coming on social media channels like Twitter to directly interact with their customers, it has become all the more easy to establish a direct way of communication.
4. Let your Staff Know Customer Insights
As Peter Drucker says, “what cannot be measured cannot be improved.” Always have some KPIs and metrics to measure the satisfaction level of your customers. With so much data at disposal via the Internet and different SaaS tools, you can always get precise insights into the behavior of your customer.
Customer insights are extremely important to understand the sentiments of your customers. So, if you want to cultivate a customer-centric culture in your organization, you must ensure these insights aren’t restricted to just the sales and marketing department. Customer insights should be shared with every department of your organisation. Each and every employee should be updated about how the organization is faring in the department of customer experience.
5. Adopt Customer-Centric Employee Culture
Simon Sinek always says, “you must know why you are doing, what you are doing.”
This is applicable to all the organisations and employees who work in it. If you are focused on cultivating a customer-centric work culture, you must let your hiring managers know why you wish to do so. You must let them know why a customer-centric work culture is important and how beneficial it can be to them and the organisation.
Highlight the benefits of a customer-centric culture through facts and analytics. When you are successful in conveying the importance to your employees, not only will they feel motivated but will also take the responsibility to nurture customer friendliness among themselves.
Also, bring in some good compensation programs or better perks for employees who excel in customer experience. This again will highlight your commitment towards improving the customer experience before your employees.
When you have a customer-centric work culture, the strategies you come up will also be customer-centric and build customer loyalty. It is this unification of a customer-centric culture and a customer-centric strategy that cements your success in the market.
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