Customer centricity has become the new imperative in digital marketing as a way to achieve better customer satisfaction, higher loyalty and increased trust. This article provides some real tips and tricks on how customer centricity works and how to put the customer first.
A change of heart has taken place in the marketing departments of numerous companies. Instead of emphasizing products, marketers are increasingly focusing on the customers. What do the customers want? How can a company fulfil their needs? And: Who exactly are they? Customer centricity seeks to provide answers to these questions. But how can it be put into practice? Customer insights, detailed knowledge of the customer journey and top service quality light the way.
Gaining and using customer insights
Companies require contextual knowledge of their customers, as to how they use services or when they buy products. It is not just the amount of data that is decisive to gaining these insights, but the classification and assignment of this data. It doesn’t matter how much a customer has bought, but why they have bought your product at a specific time. Optimize your data analyses and act according to your findings.
Understand the customer journey
You can follow the customer journey pretty closely using tracking tools. When a customer decides to buy, when they abort the purchase process and how they came across your product at all, is a very complex and individual process. With the right analyses, you can make a customer’s purchasing decision process more transparent and adapt your measures accordingly.
Achieving customer loyalty
Impress your customers with top-notch service. In the B2C segment, these include various return options in the event that the customer does not like the goods ordered. The same also applies to the delivery of course. The convenience of online shopping is soon forgotten when a customer has to pick up their parcel before 6 pm at the post office on the other side of town just because they were not home at the time of delivery. In the B2B segment, comparable examples include the flexible offering of various billing options.
Bonus programs or vouchers reward customer loyalty. In a closed member area, you can offer loyal customers exclusive goods or particularly good prices, for example. Ideally this also includes corresponding shopping content that they can use for advice. This is a useful method for fashion, furniture, jewellery and cosmetics. In the B2B business, it is also good when customers do not have to search for long, but quickly find offers that match their company’s needs.
Technologically up to date
The linchpin of a successful strategy for customer centricity is its focus on mobile use. Today, customers exchange information about new trends and even shop via smartphone or tablet. Shops and websites therefore have to be functional and user-friendly and include interactive elements. Optimize your product presentation and the associated information for mobile devices. Last but not least, a structured shopping cart, various payment methods and suitable offers before check-out prevent the customer from cancelling a purchase and increase their chances of returning.
Never forget social media
In recent years, social media have gained great importance in the inspiration, decision-making and purchasing process. According to the US Market Report by Global Web Index, social networks are among the top 4 research sources. Almost one third (32 percent) of users inform themselves using this source. 42 percent of all users base their decisions on ratings and comments in social media before actually buying a product. And 32 percent write their own comments. Against this background, maintaining one’s community is not a nice-to-have, but an obligation for every company that is seriously invested in customer centricity.
If companies focus on customer satisfaction and invest time, money and energy in their customers’ well-being, they should also find out whether the measures are working. The net promoter score can help in this regard. This key figure refers to the customer’s intention to recommend the product to others. Customer ratings and recommendations are regarded as an important currency in e-commerce and allow for conclusions to be drawn about customer satisfaction and loyalty.
To actually be customer centric, most companies need to invest a lot of work—be it on a technical, organisational or even cultural level. However, it is clear that in today’s highly competitive world with informed and selective customers, companies with strong customer centricity are ahead of the competition. A new form of marketing has therefore established itself. Read more about this in part 1 of our Customer Centricity blog series.