If there is one trend you cannot go around anymore, it is the customer centric strategy. Most companies today apply it, at least in a simplified form. So, what is a customer centric strategy? How can you use simple tools to improve your customer centric strategy?
What is a customer centric strategy?
In a customer centric strategy, the customer is put first in every action undertaken by the company. Historically, companies have operated under product centric strategies, with the idea that a good product would sell itself. The growth of internet has changed that. As people acquired much larger access, they also acquired more choices and possibilities. A product that they once could get only in a local store, can now be bought online from multiple providers. So, to differentiate from competitors, companies started to think more about the customers and the service they want to receive than the product they were going to sell to them. And so, the customer centric strategy was born.
To implement this strategy, companies will start by listening to the customer needs during the entire experience within their company. From the product to the user interface and from loyalty programs to customer support, the customer’s needs are the companies’ new objectives.
Putting yourself in the customers’ shoes
To implement a successful customer centric strategy, you need to get to know your customers. Once you do, you will separate their ‘needs’ from their ‘wants’ and proactively make changes that fit customer’s needs.
How do you get to know your customers? The first step is to place yourself in their shoes. Do you sell baby products? Then imagine that you are a young mother and that you forgot to buy your baby’s food. In that scenario, you would need to receive your products quickly, preferably at home because going to the store might not be convenient with a baby. As a company, you will translate these customer ‘needs’ into a home delivery system that delivers quickly.
Customer satisfaction survey: the key to finding what customers need
However, the scenario described above is quite simplistic. Your company might have more complex customer personas, from which the needs cannot be that easily guessed. Your customers can also have ‘needs’ that are hidden. To make sure you have thought of all your customers’ needs, there is an easy solution: ask your customers what they need! You can implement a customer satisfaction survey to ask for their opinion. Make sure to write specific questions that will lead your customer to give you the answers you actually want to receive. Your questions should be precise enough for them to understand what you want but wide enough for them to give their opinion.
For a customer satisfaction survey to be efficient, you need to make sure you reach out to your customers in an efficient way. For example, using the most appropriate communication channel to reach out to your existing customers has significant impact on the results. If you need help to determine which channel is most appropriate for you and your customers, you can read our blog post that compares alternative solutions to send out customer satisfaction surveys.
When you have received the answers from your customer satisfaction survey, make a clear distinction between the expressed ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. For example, the young mother we talked about before may say that she ‘wants’ low prices but from her answers, you figure out that she actually ‘needs’ a quick delivery. Putting your company efforts on the ‘needs’ will allow you to set up a good customer centric strategy and focus on the essential for your customers. Of course, when possible, customer ‘wants’ can also be answered, but this should not be the top priority.
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