But you can’t just become a customer-centric organisation at the click of your fingers.
You may have decided that your company must become truly customer-centric and put the customer at the centre of everything, but what next? Which obstacles are you likely to have to overcome?
Below is a list of some of the most common barriers to customer-centricity:
- Organisational silos – Are your departments talking to one another and sharing data in order to create a common understanding of your customers and how they behave?If not, you might not be getting a full picture of your customers and their journeys. And, by not understanding them, you run the risk of losing customers with increasingly high expectations.
- People and internal culture – Are the people within your organisation as passionate about your customers as you’d like them to be? Is your internal culture entirely focused on the customer and their needs?
- Lack of capabilities – It might be that your teams don’t have the capabilities required to truly understand data about your customers’ behaviours, or know how to put those rich insights to the best use. What can you, as a business leader or key decision maker within your organisation, do to help build internal capabilities that will result in a better understanding of your customers’ needs and how to meet or exceed them?
- Technology – Although people, and not technology, should be at the heart of any customer-centric culture, are your teams equipped with the tools they need to engage with customers in the right ways at pivotal points in their journeys?
And are those customer journeys mapped out? It’s critical that they are.
As a CEO or business leader, you need to address and fix all of these issues before you can even think about becoming a truly customer-centric organisation.
Make it about them – and not your product
How about, rather than focusing your content on how brilliant you think your product and its features are, you instead highlight how it benefits your customer and improves their lives in some way?
It’s always a bit of a ‘facepalm’ moment when I see retailers and brands still getting this wrong at a time when it’s never been more important to really get to know your audiences and their journeys.
My team and I like to use what we call ‘The people-centric revolution framework’, which allows us to plan out our approach and the tools or capabilities required to reach our goals when helping clients achieve theirs.
For instance, under the ‘Who’ area of this framework, we will define target audiences and what we need to do to map out their journeys.
Under ‘What’, we will be thinking about the brand story or channel selection and processes.
Under ‘How’, we will consider how to orchestrate communications through channels and evaluate how successful delivery has been, so that we can learn lessons for the future and constantly improve.
I can’t stress enough how important it is that you make use of the amazing range of customer data now available to you. Build out personas that give you a picture of who your customers are (for example, their age, location, interests, disposable income, the marketing channels they’re likely to engage with) and how they behave.
Champion personalisation to help you build relationships with your customers and provide that human touch. And, vitally, map out customer journeys based on these rich insights.
Develop a first-class customer-centric content strategy
The more you understand the kind of content your customer likes and is most likely to engage with, the more chance you have to optimise your content and make it unique.
You can gain more understanding about your customer’s preferred content through the use of a competitor or content Gap Analysis or the use of Big Data & Analytics, for example.
Plus, the better your analysis of your customers and their journeys, the better you will understand the kind of channels they engage with – thereby helping you to plan out the distribution of your content more effectively.