5 Pillars of Customer-Centricity

As a marketer or a manager, building long-lasting, satisfactory relationships with your customers should be one of the top-priority goals on your list.

Today I’ll elaborate on the 5 main strategies online businesses can use to achieve that goal.

If you’re not sure why, read my last post about customer-centricity. I shared there few eye-opening statistics that may change the way you develop your customer journey.

The Definition of Customer-Centricity

Customer-centricity means making the customer experience the main point of focus for your whole company. It’s aimed at creating a competitive advantage that will let you stand out from the crowd. It often entails changes in your company’s culture as well as internal processes.

On the Internet I’ve found two diagrams that perfectly describe the essence of customer-centricity, juxtaposing it with a more traditional, product-centric approach.

Having a general idea of what the customer-focus is, let’s move to specific strategies for improving your customer experience.

Customer-centric strategies

Inbound marketing

This is where you start showing you care.

Giving away free resources that help your audience cope with their problems is a very compelling way of starting relationships. Not only does it help position you as an expert, but even more importantly – builds trust.

Instead of looking like a greedy, sales-pushing company that’s focused on nothing more than their profits, you assist selflessly. Because how can one believe you’ll act to their benefit if you’re focused only on revenue right from the start?

On the other hand, if you appear as helpful and people-oriented, one will be much more likely to maintain the relationship.

Thus, using inbound marketing, your role is to make prospects aware of their problems and show how to overcome them. Adding as much value as possible.

It lies in human nature to return a favour. So once your prospects come to the conclusion that they need your product/service, they’ll gladly move to the next stage of your funnel.

Personalization

It’s on the cards that people coming to your website have different questions or needs. That’s why you should not treat them all in the same way.

Instead, start collecting and analyzing behavioral data for each person separately.

This way you’re able to:

  • create visitor/lead/customer segments consisting of people that have similar interests,
  • and deliver messages, content or offers that strike the right chord resonating with particular person’s situation.

Marketing Automation platforms let you do that by placing their JS codes on your website. Then, they track each visitor’s move and save all the information in their separate profiles.

Visitor profile in User.com

It does not only improve customer experience. It has tangible impact on your company’s bottom line.

Numerous studies show the effects of personalization. Few of them you can see below.

  • Personalized CTA’s convert 202% better than regular ones.

At Hubspot, they analyzed 330,000 CTAs and the results were stunning. Companies that adjusted their CTAs dynamically (based on a funnel stage, interests, location etc.) had doubled their conversions.

Source: Hubspot

If you wish to dive deeper into this topic, I wrote an article about Dynamic Page Content and how it can boost your conversion rates.

  • 44% of customers are more likely to repeat purchase after personalized experience.
Source: Segment
  • Personalized promotional emails have 29% higher open rates, and 41% higher CTR. (source: Invespcro)
  • 45% are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations. (source: Invespcro)

Being proactive

The exceptional customer experience that fosters loyalty and brand advocacy means you need to go beyond standard frameworks.

You need to deliver more than promised. Ideally, more than anyone could imagine.

Because everybody assumes some typical path on their way to, and after a purchase. And there’s little prospect one will go around talking about your brand if you limit yourself to delivering a product that works as intended.

That’s why being proactive and surprising customers positively is one of the keys in customer-centric marketing.

As an example, imagine an air ticket booking service.

Such a company could end their customer journey when the ticket is bought. That would be a regular, immemorable experience.

On the other hand, what if they additionally sent you:

  • a list of places worth visiting in your destination,
  • a comparison of currency exchange rates in your city and on the airport, so you didn’t have to overpay,
  • a reminder about your online check-in a day before the flight,
  • a checklist of most important things to do or take before the departure,
  • or even an SMS a few hours before the flight, telling you how long it will take to get from your house to the airport.

You feel the difference, right?

Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, has described on the Master of Scale podcast how the process looked like in their case. If you wish to listen or read the transcript, here’s the link.

Exceptional support

Another pivotal, and probably the most obvious, point in customer-centricity is providing great customer support.

There are a few factors that contribute to its overall evaluation:

  • Response time

Times when people were used to waiting days for a response are long gone. Now they expect your support agents to answer right away.

Fortunately, technology enables a way to provide instant support, even if you can’t afford to hire enough people. Using chatbots you can automate answering popular, recurring questions, without incurring additional costs.

It’s easy, fast and scalable.

Exemplary chatbot in User.com
  • Availability of contact channels and information

People differ in terms of preferred means of communication. What suits one person, may not be appropriate for another one.

Providing different channels shows you’re reliable and care for your customers.

So make sure you put at their disposal live chat, email, phone number to call, and documentation or Q&A. They will love you for it.

  • Sharing information among team members

If a customer needs to repeat their story over and over again to different employees, their patience may end quickly.

It’s best to keep all interactions with a particular customer in one place so that different agents could quickly understand their situation, and find a solution without unnecessary questions.

  • Sending bugs/fixes updates

Mistakes happen in every business. And customers understand it.

But there’s nothing more irritating than no information after leaving a ticket or a request.

So if a customer has faced a problem (e.g., a bug in your software), don’t forget to send them status updates with new advancements.

The awareness that their case moves forward will make people calmly wait till it’s solved.

Omni-channel communication

People switch from channel to channel all the time and they expect companies to do the same. However, just being present in multiple places (which is called a multi-channel strategy) is not enough. Customer-centric businesses must go a step further and implement the omni-channel approach.

Simply put, the first concept lets all channels exist separately, while the second assumes that they work as one, complete system.

On the face of it, the difference may seem negligible. However, when you ponder over the matter for a while, you’ll see that to create a seamless customer journey, your messages have to stay consistent and work together towards one goal.

Why is it so important?

What are the results of using omni-channel?

And how can you create such a strategy for your business?

Answers to these questions you can find in one of our ebooks 👇 

role-of-omni-channel-ebook-cover

The Role of Omni-Channel in Customer Journey.

It consists of 10 pages covering:

  • omni-channel-related statistics,
  • step-by-step guide to delivering your strategy,
  • a customer journey map template to fill.
Download it


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