Everyone knows the famous line, "The customer is always right." As a business owner, this adage should be etched into your mind whenever you're dealing with a fresh prospect or a repeat client. Regardless of the industry you're in, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Therefore, learning from them, and keeping them happy should be your top priority.
Placing your clients at the centre of your operations can make a huge positive difference to your business. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs fail to implement a customer-centric approach and tend to be passive and reactive when interacting with customers. This complacency leads to businesses not having meaningful relationships with clients, and missing out on the many benefits of being a customer-first business.
Nowadays, the average customer greatly values the experience they have with a brand. So, if you're looking to scale your business, the first thing you should do is to learn the importance of customer-centricity. It's also critical to engage meaningfully with clients to understand their needs and wants so you can shape your products and services to fit the demand. The guide below will discuss how this approach can enable you to build brand loyalty, improve your bottom line, and boost your reputation in the market.
What is Customer Centricity?
Customer centricity is a business approach that focuses on creating a positive experience for your customers. Research shows that 60% of companies that adopt this approach are more profitable than those that do not. By giving your clients a pleasant experience during, before, and after a transaction, you can increase brand awareness, build customer loyalty, and scale your business more easily.
Why is Customer Centricity Important?
Most organisations don't see the direct correlation of putting customers at the core of their businesses and company growth. However, this mindset should end, as customer-centricity has many benefits that may be able to bring forward the business breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.
1. Creates real customer relationships – Companies that take on a customer-first mindset have a strong relationship with their audience. Regularly engaging in meaningful interactions allows them to turn customers into advocates, making it easier for them to build brand loyalty. Through word-of-mouth marketing, businesses are able to gain positive reviews and acquire more conversion opportunities.
2. Drives repeat business and transaction – Customers that have a great time transacting with a brand are likely to make another purchase in the future. This is highly advantageous to your business, since it's 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one.
3. Saves you money on marketing - Happy customers will lead to good word-of-mouth marketing for your products or services. Your customers speak for you and promote your business simply because you prioritize them and their experiences with your brand. This is most definitely advantageous if your financial situation is a bit tricky or you’re looking to increase profits without breaking the bank on a marketing campaign.
4. Increases customer satisfaction – Businesses that listen, and respond to their clients' needs and wants have happy and satisfied customers. This ultimately leads to improved client retention and, very importantly, increases the lifetime value of your customers.
5. Empowers market share and profit – Brands that take on a customer-centric approach have a competitive advantage. Since the market is saturated, providing a pleasant and personalised customer experience will allow you to outperform rival businesses.
How to Achieve Customer Centricity
Now that you know exactly what customer centricity can bring to your business, it's time to change your ways and provide a holistic customer experience.
1. Show passion – Customers appreciate it when you are passionate about them. Showing that you care makes them feel valued and encourages them to take desirable actions. Addressing their inquiries with patience, listening to their insights intently, or showcasing your products with enthusiasm are simple yet proven acts that you can take.
2. Focus on customer wants – At the end of the day, it's all about catering to what your clients want. Many customers are willing to provide valuable feedback so make the most of it and adjust your products and services to give them the solutions they need.
3. Be receptive to feedback – Although it's not always easy, it's important to show respect in every client engagement and be receptive to feedback even if you think it's unfair. By being open to feedback and listening carefully, you might discover issues that you didn't know existed which will enable you to make improvements. And remember, that for every customer that mentions an issue, there could be 50 that have been thinking about it but didn't say anything.
4. Look beyond the purchase – Don't view your clients as mere sales opportunities. Generating profit may be a priority, but viewing customers in that manner will not give you the results you desire. Instead, you should take a long-term approach and think of them as your partners.
5. Have present and proactive customer service – A very responsive customer service team is a must. Whether you decide to build an in-house department or acquire the services of an outsourcing agency, giving your customers support whenever they need it has its fair share of rewards.
Put Your Customers at the Heart of Your Business
A customer-centric approach can be beneficial in several aspects—it can help you understand your customers' needs, cut down your expenses, increase revenues, and give you more opportunities and sales to capitalize on. If you want to improve your company's performance, take the necessary adjustments as soon as possible as you can be sure that your competitors are.
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