Are your customers really happy customers? And what can you do if they’re not? What is the role of technology? How can you connect your brand goals and your customer moments of truth? How can you align the journeys your customers want to take with the brand?
The answer? Customer centricity.
Customer centricity is about focusing on the customer; designing a compelling and engaging omni-channel experience by designing connected customer journeys as well as an extraordinary user experiences across channels and touchpoints. But it’s about technology; connecting user front-ends, customer data and management solutions, and linking the business processes orchestrating customer interactions with the enterprise.
I believe there are five uncomplicated rules to achieve success:
- Customer experience shouldn’t be taken for granted
The more satisfied your customers or clients are, the more they’re likely to spend with you. A recent Capgemini study reinforced that customer experience is valuable and valued—81% of consumers are willing to pay for a better experience. Consumers are ready to reward better experiences with increased spending.
This is not only true for the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) market, but more and more for the Business-to-Business (B2B) market. After all, one business buying from another, is just as much a customer as those in consumer-facing sectors.
- Buyers behaviors are changing
We already know that new technologies are driving new behaviors in both the B2C and B2B. The efficient, effective, easy to use, my way, anytime, anywhere’ demands of today’s B2C customer have been apparent and accepted for a while now. But more and more the B2B buyer is changing. Analysts are telling us that there is a paradigm shift of how professional consumers (B2B) are navigating their buyer journey—for example there is a growing propensity towards self-service. Forrester’s The B2B eCommerce Playbook for 2017 advises that in 2016 68% of B2B buyers prefer to research online on their own, up from 53% in 2015. Equally, in 2016 B2B buyers who said that they do not want to interact with a sales representative as their primary source of research grew from 59% to 60%.
- Apply the golden rule of the “segment of one”
So, as a business selling to other businesses, it’s important to understand not only what makes your customer (the buyer) happy but also influence the action they take as a result of interacting with your brand. In my opinion, the “the segment of one” is a game changer. Be clear about what the individual needs of a customer are and deliver the experience according these individual needs. This is completely different than customer segmentation based on generic profiles, and is far more effective.
- Build real human loyalty
Digitization in our society has led to reduced personal contact; face-to-face is only one channel available to your buyers, and is not always the preferred path. This has implications on how your brand is represented. It is therefore key that you build a relationship with your client that goes past being transactional and into something that is unequivocally positive and personal.
- Link your business operations to your customers
The aforementioned report also tells us that organizations tightly linking their business operations with the customer experience reap greater rewards in terms of NPS® and positive customer perceptions. So whether you closely link (monitor your NPS® or customer experience performance on a daily basis and share the information with managers to create a better alignment between business operations and NPS® performance) or loosely link (monitor NPS® or customer experience on a regular basis/fixed intervals basis) it is a key action in keeping (or making) your customers happy.
Do all this well, and you will create experiences that deliver rapid and sustainable value for your customers and your company.
We would be happy to share our perspective and experiences at the SAP Hybris Live Digital Summit in Barcelona, Spain.