This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Elaine Fogel talks about building a customer-centric mindset for your business. I believe that to create a customer-centric culture you must start on the inside, with employees. – Shep Hyken
At the heart of a customer-centric business is customer service — how your company manages its customer relationships. If you’ve ever doubted the significance of customer service excellence to your business brand, just check out these statistics:
- 65% of respondents stopped using a brand’s products or services because of a poor customer experience. (Parature 2014 State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey)
- Customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience. (Peter Kriss, Harvard Business Review, 2014)
- 81% of prospective buyers were frustrated because the company doesn’t make it easy to do business with them. (“The $6 Trillion Opportunity: How Digital Can Improve Customer Experience to Drive Revenue Growth,” Accenture Strategy, 2015)
- When it comes to poor customer service experiences, nearly all (95%) consumers talk about them, with 60% reporting that they talk about these experiences all of the time. (American Express® 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer)
- 83% of B2B buyers either agreed or strongly agreed that an excellent customer service experience would lead to them purchasing again from the same supplier. (Accenture ∕ hybris “Building The B2B OmniChannel Commerce Platform Of The Future” November 2014)
So, what can your business gain by adopting a strong customer-centric mindset?
- BUILDS TRUST, CREDIBILITY, AND SOLID REPUTATION
When you serve and engage customers with excellence, delivering on the company’s promises consistently, they will gradually develop a reason to believe in your business brand. Your company will gain customers’ trust and confidence and increase its level of credibility and reputation.
- INCREASES WORD-OF-MOUTH REFERRALS
Building on #1, the more that customers trust your business, the more they will refer it to friends, family, colleagues, and their online networks.
- GIVES YOUR BUSINESS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
When your company is customer-centric, and customers talk about it positively, its brand can rise to a top-of-mind position, giving it a distinct edge over its competition.
- REDUCES EMPLOYEE STRESS AND FRICTION
When there are clear-cut, customer-centric standards that all employees believe in and follow consistently, they’ll know what to do and when. These guidelines can lessen confusion and customer mess-ups and in turn, greatly reduce employee friction and stress.
- REDUCES CUSTOMER ATTRITION
When your business puts customers first, it increases its ability to retain them. As long as customers continue to see the value of patronizing or working for your business, they can become brand loyal and stick around longer. In other words, you’ll experience less attrition.
- SAVES MONEY
When customers rave about your business and continuously refer new customers your way, the company can often adjust its marketing budget to reflect these inbound leads. It takes more marketing and advertising dollars to acquire new customers than to wow the current ones.
- INCREASES CUSTOMER RETENTION AND LOYALTY
When your business is consistently customer-centric, wowing and engaging customers, there’s a greater chance that they’ll stay and become brand loyal. Periodically ask customers why they patronize your business. What you discover can help identify the effects of being customer oriented.
- REDUCES RISK AND IMPROVES SUSTAINABILITY
When your business treats all its customers exceptionally well and with respect, it can reduce its risk for attrition. Brand-loyal customers who value your company and people may be less inclined to jump ship when your competitors entice them with attractive “carrots.” Since customer retention is a vital contributor to sustainability, your business is in a better position to weather economic downturns, crises, and other business threats.
- LEADS TO GROWTH
When your business develops a solid brand reputation for being customer-centric, it can entice more inbound leads, referrals, and buzz, enabling it to grow. Because people are attracted to success, the company can experience even more growth opportunities.
- INCREASES REVENUE AND PROFITS!
When your company adopts a customer-centric mindset and other business factors are relatively stable, it can improve its success, generating more money and profits.
Now that you’ve become aware of the true benefits of operating a customer-centric business, it’s time to begin the paradigm shift or “mindset adjustment” that can help you achieve it.
Are you ready?
Elaine Fogel is a marketing and branding thought leader, professional speaker, and writer. This post is excerpted from her new book, Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success, available worldwide in paperback or e-book formats. For a list of booksellers, visit this site.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com. Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: