A lot of companies like to say that they’re customer-centric, and for good reason. Companies that prioritize their customers see greater business results, earn more word-of-mouth praise, and bring more innovative products to market. But while many companies claim to be customer-centric, the real number is actually much lower. So how do you know if your company is providing an experience that delights your customers? There are 5 qualities to look for when identifying truly customer-centric organizations:
Customer-centric organizations make it easy for customers to connect with them, wherever, whenever they want to. That means making sure your site and customer community are mobile and search optimized, that you have a presence on relevant social media sites, and that it’s obvious to your customers how to get in touch with you.
It also means communicating in a way that’s friendly and easy for them to understand, not cluttering it up with industry jargon and opaque responses.
Social media has had a major impact on your customers’ expectations of you. Not only do they expect a response from you every time they reach out to you in any channel they choose to do, they expect it quickly! You can keep this manageable by only having a presence on as many channels as you can reasonably monitor and funneling these conversations into your customer community. And remember, it’s not enough to just respond the first time they reach out. You need to respond every time, and circle back to close the loop with them whenever there’s an update.
It doesn’t matter how quickly you respond if you don’t respond with empathy! Think about the way you’d talk to a friend with a problem. Yes, you want to help them solve it. But first you want to make sure they know you’re listening, you understand, and you care. Use the same approach with your customers, and they’ll remain loyal to you, just like those friends.
It’s hard to provide your customers with fast, truthful information if your departments exist in disconnected silos. One might want to know when your next product will be released; another might be wondering where you got that stat in your latest infographic; someone else may need more information about the features included in a particular package. Unless your company has a good way to communicate and collaborate internally, you won’t be able to provide these answers quickly or honestly. We use an internal community called The Satisfactory for this. What do you use?
The whole point of opening up your company to customer feedback, ideas, and yes, even criticism, is to let it guide your internal thought and development processes. Sometimes your customers will say the one thing you hope they don’t. That doesn’t mean you have to build what they’re asking for every time. But their comments should play a major role in the direction of your roadmap. If it doesn’t, why bother ask?
Pro tip: Your customer community is a great place to highlight the ideas that have been implemented based on customer suggestions! You can place an Engage widget on a special innovation page to really showcase the way your company prioritizes feedback.