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What does it mean to be customer-centric?

Being customer-centric means more than just offering good service. It means providing a positive customer experience at every touchpoint of the customer journey--from the awareness stage, through the purchasing process, all the way through the post-purchase process. It means putting your customer, not your products, at the core of your business.

What is the purpose of becoming customer-centric?

A customer-centric business has a deep understanding of its customers’ buying behavior, interests and engagement patterns. With these insights, the business can make data-driven decisions to improve operations and design products around customers’ precise wants and needs. When implemented on a consistent basis, these efforts can improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and drive repeat business, boosting both customer loyalty and revenue.

Customer-centric businesses can continue to optimize their strategy using customer lifetime value to optimize customer segments based on highest spenders. Putting customers first is the key to profitability: customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those that are not focused on the customer.

Challenges of becoming customer-centric

Today’s customers are more selective than ever about the brands they choose to do business with--because they can be. They have access to the massive collective intelligence generated by their peers online from review sites and social media, and they trust this information more than any advertisement. Customers can share and compare experiences to identify the best all-around according to authentic sources.

The rapid speed with which customers share experiences leaves many businesses struggling to keep up with customer sentiment trends. The customer data that is collected tends to be isolated within specific departments, and such siloed information prevents any progress from being made. Fostering a customer-centric company requires sharing customer insights across all departments, from executives to the front lines.

Best practices of customer centric organizations

Customer-centric brands believe that without the customer they cannot succeed, and this is correct. Successful brands keep customers at the center of every decision. Here’s how to get on their level:

  • Develop a 360 degree view of the customer journey across all channels
  • Gather customer feedback consistently to drive continuous improvement
  • Analyze, plan and implement a carefully formulated strategy to create and keep profitable, loyal customers
  • Build strong customer relationships by maintaining an open dialogue with feedback across all channels

How can I measure the success of my customer-centric strategy?

Before launching your strategy, keep in mind that it’s important not only invest in acquiring new customers; also drive efforts to retain existing ones--acquiring new customers can cost up to 5x more than keeping existing ones, and a 2% increase in customer retention has the same impact on profits as cutting costs by 10%. Despite this, on average, a company loses 10% of its customer base each year. This is why a top focus of customer-centric brands is earning customer loyalty.

These are some helpful metrics for gauging ROI of your customer-centric program:

  • Customer churn rate: To calculate your churn rate, divide the number of customers who left in the last 12 months by the average number of total customers during that same period.

  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): To calculate CLV, subtract the money spent serving the customer from the revenue you earn from them, and adjust all payments for time value of money.

How BirdEye can help your customer centric business strategy

BirdEye helps you stay connected with your customers from beginning to end. BirdEye’s Review Generation tool allows you to automatically collect reviews from your customers in real-time at critical touchpoints in the customer journey so you develop a contextual understanding of the entire customer experience. BirdEye’s Survey Designer allows you to create your own custom surveys and analyze scores alongside review ratings.

Solve all customer issues immediately with BirdEye’s Review Management solutions: monitor and respond directly to reviews on third-party sites in real-time, convert negative reviews into support tickets, and receive alerts whenever a new review is posted about your business. Track employee response time and ticket resolution with detailed Service Reports.

To understand overarching feedback trends, BirdEye’s Natural Language Processing engine, Athena, converts unstructured feedback from review sites, social media and surveys into straightforward business insights. Discover emerging sentiment themes, where they are most prevalent, and whether your competitors are experiencing the same themes from their customer feedback.