It’s July 4. For our readers in the US, Happy Fourth of July! For the rest of our friends around the world, I hope you are all having an amazing day!
The term “customer-centric” is becoming the big buzz word/phrase of late to describe customer service-focused companies. We’ve moved from just talking about customer service to customer experience and now to customer-centric. And, there were a few other words or phrases in between.
I had a chance to talk with John-Paul Narowski with KarmaCRM, which is a cloud-based program that helps small businesses with a very cost-effective program to manage their customers. JP – that’s what his friends call him – is totally customer-centric. He gets it. His company’s customers pay for salaries, benefits, and more. Why shouldn’t they go the extra mile for them?
I’ve always said that customer service isn’t a department. It’s a philosophy to be embraced by every employee of the organization. JP takes a similar approach. Customer service is his entire business model. He is obsessive about hiring the right people to work at the company, taking six months to hire his first employee. He builds relationships with the customers to the point where they are literally part of the team. Both the company and the customer are in unison, both focused on each other’s success.
How would you feel if your customers knew you were interested in their success, and vice-versa? A pretty powerful place to be!
JP shared a few of the differences that a customer-centric focus could make in your business. In his words:
1. Customer-centricity turns passive customers into active evangelists, who will recommend your product again and again to their personal contacts.
2. Customer-centricity creates loyal customers who trust your product and your brand, and who are willing to “stick with it.”
3. Customer-centricity allows you to collect more feedback from customers, and create a feedback loop that drives customer-centric development.
4. Customer-centricity makes customers more tolerant to any flaws in your product, allowing you additional time to fix the issue and keep their business.
5. Customer-centricity promotes reciprocity, making customers want to go out of their way to help your business in return for the excellent service you provide.
JP and karmaCRM embody the strategies in my most recent book, The Amazement Revolution. First, he’s obsessive and hyper-focused about creating customer amazement.
The relationship he builds with customers is more than just as a supplier. He creates a partnership.
He is emphatic about hiring right for his customer-centric culture, which fall into two strategies; Serious FUN (which is culture-based) and hiring right.
He is building a community of customers that support him, give him feedback, recommend him and more.
He walks the walk. He is obsessed with delivering customer service and value to his customers and is a role model for his employees and suppliers.
JP’s comment to support his customer-centric philosophy is simple. “If I focus on the customer and not the money, eventually the money will follow.”
I told you he gets it!
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)