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Become More Customer-Centric – Part 1: Transforming the Customer Experience

Many businesses pile their efforts into marketing and promotion, and with good reason. Ensuring that your product is put in front of those who can benefit from it is a sure fire way of increasing a business’s sales conversions. What some business owners may bypass is the customer experience itself, which can be the most important factor of any relationship between a business and its customer base.

This is the first in a 4 part series of articles that explores the way retail businesses can become more customer-centric today.

While some businesses undoubtedly create a positive customer experience, there are those who could improve theirs. In fact, 74 percent of top business leaders see improved customer satisfaction as a top priority for their company. However, this is easier said than done. Having the initial commitment to improve customer experience is all well and good, but it can fall by the wayside by being a generic priority that can mean different things to different businesses. In this regard, it can be difficult for a business to improve the experience their customers have if they only have a vague idea of what their customers actually expect.

Technology has helped to tip the balance in what customers expect from their experience with a business, and a lot of customers will know as much about your product as you do. You also have to factor in that other businesses may copy your business model if they use it to sculpt a reliable income. This is why any business should focus on being customer-centric, but if such values are not part of the business’s make-up, it can be harder to implement at a later date. It therefore becomes a task that merely hangs in the background.

Transforming the Customer Experience

So how does a business become more customer-centric? Well, the first port of call should be to examine your current customer experience. If a customer complains about their experience, then use this to your advantage. Only when you know about defective procedures will you be able to rectify them accordingly.

Secondly, you should experiment with different ways to interact with your customers, therefore providing them with a pleasant customer experience. Of course, every business will have its own customer journey or path-to-purchase. But testing the water with new initiatives sent to select customers can pay dividends in the long run, by providing you with valuable data. It can be tempting to wait to roll out an enterprise initiative, but not taking action now could mean that your business remains less customer-centric than it should be. So act more agile and start testing!

Lastly, you should look to instil customer experience management as a vital aspect of your business. While carrying out experiments to become a more customer-centric business, there will be some methods that work better than others. In this regard, such practises should always be refined, so they continue to resonate with your customers. Simply rolling out new initiatives but not referring to the data received makes the whole process pointless.

Ensuring a business is customer-centric is hard work. But in today’s competitive world, being customer-centric is what could persuade customers to buy from you, rather than your competitor. And holding onto the customers you have is far cheaper than letting them slip through a leaky bucket while your attention is fixed on acquiring new ones. Plus it’s also more likely that investors will look more favourably on a customer-centric business, than one who considers such a task as low-priority. That's certainly been our experience.

Check out our next post in this series - Become More Customer-Centric – Part 2: Digitse your business