You can tell as a customer when a business goes above and beyond for you because it feels different!

But if going above and beyond for customers was that simple, every company would do it; unfortunately, most don't. Why? It's challenging! When it is not ingrained in the foundation of your business, it is difficult to provide an incredible experience for every single consumer.

I loved to see how Calendly applied customer-centric practices when it was needed the most. It basically tries to address the hassle of arranging meetings and appointments, a problem that plagues many businesses. Businesses may easily plan any form of meeting or appointment thanks to the user-friendly UI. Due to remote working throughout the epidemic, Calendly experienced tremendous growth.

Attempt to have a customer-centric culture where everyone is interested in knowing what the consumers need and what they want to achieve. 

  • Deliver what people need, not what you have to offer.
  • Put your customers foremost in everything you do.

This way, you'll be well on your way to building a brand they love and one that will earn their loyalty, praise, and business.

1. Instill Empathy as a Fundamental Virtue

According to a study conducted by PwC, 59% of consumers feel businesses have lost touch with the human aspect of CX. Customer empathy is the capacity to recognize a customer's emotional need, comprehend the causes of that need, and provide an acceptable and successful response.

To gain a thorough grasp of their customers' many requirements, motives, and viewpoints, customer-centric organizations look beyond the numbers, come up with innovative ways to hear what they have to say, and express empathy.

To ingrain empathy throughout the organization, customer-centric companies:

  • Plan dedicated time each week or month with internal stakeholders to observe how customers interact with the brand online
  • Create empathy maps as opposed to mere personas
  • Convey the customer's perspective to monthly all-staff meetings
  • Ensure that decision-makers are aware of the viewpoint of customers
  • Create an ongoing feedback loop that includes current and prospective customers

Begin to unite around these shared principles and a customer-first mentality, and incorporate them into your regular work practices. Develop a mentality where each team member sees themselves as an advocate for the customer's viewpoint.

Read more: Data-Driven Customer Empathy - Are You Doing it Right?

2. Make Customer Insights Accessible

"I think many organizations are not tapping into the rich insights that can be gleaned from their own data. This is usually because data is not joined up organisationally at a customer level. Every interaction a customer has with an organization is an opportunity to listen and then tailor the experience according to the customer's current context, but many do not have the data, systems, and business processes in place to respond and act in this way," says Jo Boswell, Director, Sentio-B Ltd, in Clootrack’s 102-CX Report.

Every employee needs to comprehend the organization's customers to develop a customer-centric mindset. Data regarding each transaction that takes place between your company and its customers is generated. So give every employee access to customer insights. Do not expect other teams to concentrate completely on their tasks after storing customer understanding in the sales and marketing units.

To make customer insights accessible, customer-centric companies often:

  • establish a team that combines employee and customer experience (CX)
  • provide listening areas where staff members can go to hear customer calls
  • have leaders provide an update on the company's CX delivery at each all-employee meeting

Each time a customer interacts with a website or app, "digital data trails" are created that can be saved and analyzed. CX can be significantly improved by looking at your customers through the lens of your digital relationship.

Read More: Building Bridges To Overcome Departmental Silos For Better CX

3. Anticipate Customer Needs and Problems

"One of the biggest challenges in companies is to truly understand what the customer needs. Not what they think they need. Many companies build their brand around what they believe is best for the customer. When they find out what the customer really wants, it may then be quite different from what the customer really wants," says Sean Crichton-Browne, Head of Global Partnerships & Customer Engagement, MarketCulture Strategies Inc.

Anticipating their customers' needs in a way that enables them to regularly meet—and, if applicable, exceed—their expectations is one of the finest ways for organizations to show that they are customer-centric.

A potent example could be Amazon's "anticipatory package shipping." It was given a patent for its anticipatory package shipping system because it aims to ship the products that it already knows its customers would buy even before they realize it.

One of the best ways to increase customer business is by deftly predicting their needs and retaining them. 

For that, customer-centric businesses: 

  • utilize customer data to substantially increase your firm's intelligence and responsiveness to your customers
  • build an active relationship with them and watch their actions
  • make it a goal for their customers to benefit continuously, permanently, and tangibly from their good or service
  • understand what's popular and what's out of date
  • ensure customers may contact you using any method they choose, including chat, SMS, social media, email, and phone
  • provide them with tools like FAQs and enlightening articles to help them if they run into problems
  • send customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores questionnaires

Apart from anticipating their needs, it is equally important to anticipate customers' problems. Instead of waiting for a problem to emerge before offering a solution, being proactive in anticipating a problem that your customers might encounter and doing so is a powerful step towards customer-centricity. It can give excellent CX while sparing your consumer through the entire support procedure.

Read More: 13 Actionable Tips to Help You Fulfill Customer Expectations

4. Think Beyond the Transaction

91% of customers are likely to buy from businesses that provide them with useful and relevant offers. Your company's ultimate objective is to convince customers to purchase your goods or services. However, you'll want to ensure customers return after making a purchase.

But how do you encourage your present customers to make more purchases from you? The best course of action is to: 

  • Give them extra perks beyond the transaction itself
  • Introduce offers on your most desired products/services 
  • Facilitate their purchasing goals 

Customers will start linking their success with your company's goods and services. These actions will help you produce a more positive CX.

Read More: 3-Step CX Management Framework

5. Personalize the Experience for Customers

Customers nowadays need recognition and personalization. In fact, according to Microsoft data, offering tailored experiences increases the likelihood that 80% of customers would make a purchase.

To deliver relevant, personalized experiences, customer-centric organizations:

  • Hold the systems, procedures, information, and talents to enable them to handle various consumers in various ways depending on what they know about them.
  • Systematically hold one-to-many executive briefings for customers.
  • Ask pertinent inquiries about their unique needs using customized communications.
  • Adapt the website's content to the needs and requirements of the user.
  • Give ample time for questions to be answered and to consider "what if? Scenarios, test out potential solutions, and more.

Personalization must be meaningful, with whatever you provide your customers in line with their unique interests, values, and requirements.

Read More: Customer Experience Personalization

6. Obtain Feedback and Take Action

Making informed decisions about what customers love and dislike about your business depends on customer feedback. As a result, customer-centric businesses routinely ask for and gather consumer feedback, analyze the information they gather, and act on what they discover.

To do this, most businesses use a voice-of-the-customer system, which makes it simpler to systematically listen to what customers have to say and analyze what you hear to make better judgments.

Apart from VoC systems, these organizations achieve customer centricity by:

  • sending follow-up emails and SMS surveys
  • reviewing live chat transcripts and recorded sales calls
  • conducting customer interviews
  • monitoring social media channels
  • offering incentives for feedback

One of the most crucial components of being customer-centric is a solid understanding of what your customers are thinking, experiencing, and doing. This knowledge enables you to constantly develop your company and meet customers where they are, not just where you wish they were.

Read More: 6-Step Leadership Plan To Align Voice of Customer (VoC) with Business Objectives

7. Invest in Customer Service

Customer-focused businesses view customer support as a revenue stream. Their support staff is driving the expansion of their business. Every day, they converse with customers and assist them in achieving their objectives. So, there's no better team to undergird everything customer-centric companies do and every decision they make.

To develop a customer-centric company, market leaders:

  • hire top-notch personnel
  • pay customer service representatives more
  • avoid assessing first response time and instead focus on customer effort or happiness
  • make the most of their potential with self-service assistance
  • run routine training sessions
  • check to see that their support personnel is keeping up with the newest advancements in goods and services
  • solicit customer feedback regarding your assistance
  • utilize client feedback to effectively train your support personnel
  • ensure that while handling customer complaints, their support personnel goes above and beyond 

These investments will open up opportunities for your support personnel to engage in more in-depth and proactive dialogues with your customers.

Read More: Powerful Customer Journey Orchestration To Deliver Superior CX

8. Value Your Employees

The process of creating a business that is focused on its customers includes both appreciating its customers and its employees. Customer-centric companies extend their empathy and care to their team members and build genuine and empathetic relationships with their customers. 

Here's how you can also do it:

  • Making customer service a priority at the top is the first step in getting your employees to care about consumers.
  • Don't just say you value excellent service or put it in a note; practice it.
  • Regularly reward it, praising people who go above and over.
  • Make it known to all that customers have a say in your business.
  • Consider whether a prospect would be a good fit for your firm when assessing possible new hires.
  • Build a team of individuals who are passionate about supporting the success of your clients.
  • Give your staff the freedom to decide for themselves and to satisfy consumers however they see fit.
  • Ensure that customers can communicate and stay on the same page so that nobody faces a difficult problem alone.

It's difficult to overstate the connection between excellent EX and great CX. Employees that are happy at work are more likely to stay there, perform better, and ultimately have a greater drive to satisfy customers.

Read More: How Can Good Employee Experiences Deliver Greater CX?

9. Assess Customer Interactions

Customers may teach you valuable lessons, even when they're furious. They assist you in honing your product and identifying your target market. Your employees may become customer advocates as a result of these calls.

Thus, customer-centric businesses:

  1. Join customer calls, especially calls about complaints from customers.
  2. establish KPIs based on the anticipated and desired experiences of the customers
  3. watch to see how they perform 

So, monitor your performance across these channels, including pulsed, scheduled, or transactional surveys, call center logs, complaint lines, online feedback, and social media comments. 

Read More: Successful Voice of Customer Program Brings Exponential Business Growth

10. Establish Incentive Programs

Organizational alignment results from compensation plans because all employees are compelled to strive toward the same objective: raising customer happiness. These initiatives assist customer-focused businesses in creating and sustaining a customer culture within a development team. It is important to build incentive programs that compensate development teams based on customer satisfaction indicators, such as user retention.

Your best employees may emerge when they receive rewards for excellent customer service. Additionally:

  • Give them the authority to take the necessary actions to meet customer needs. 
  • Carry out one-on-one conversations and behind-the-scenes decision-making. 

These actions will make them feel valued and rewarded for utilizing various information about customers and internal operations to enhance CX.

Read More: 3 Drivers of Best-in-Class CX Governance

The Final Takeaway

When all departments are well-connected, creating a culture focused on the customer is simpler. A deeper grasp of your customers' demands will result from sitting development teams down at the same table as sales or marketing personnel.

Finding ways to tailor the consumer experience is evidence that doing so can increase enduring loyalty. Data analytics pave the way for personalized experiences that give your customers what they need, when, where, and how they need it. This holds true across all channels and interactions.

Being customer-centric requires you to listen to your customers. If you don't have a mechanism for gathering customer feedback, it can be difficult to know how to improve the CX.

Customer service is extremely important in assisting your company in establishing a service-oriented culture. And for precisely this reason, you must train your support personnel and ensure they possess the appropriate customer service abilities.

Culture and strategy work together. A company will only achieve its customer-centric vision when culture supports and advances customer-centric tactics.