Customer centricity is more than just “customer orientation”. At the same time, there is a big gap between perception and the actual implementation of customer centricity. Companies can create a unique customer experience if they consider the right attributes. And it is precisely how they can clearly position and differentiate themselves from the competition.
Customer orientation and customer centricity are not the same thing. While customer orientation means offering products and services that customers want, the customer centricity approach focuses on those goods and services that customers need. Particularly customer experiences that are based on individual needs are essential to a company's success today. In the volatile world of digitization, competitors with new innovative technologies and competing products continuously create new incentives for acquiring customers and motivating them to change providers. This means that companies must increasingly separate themselves from their competitors to ensure long-term customer loyalty.
Developing customer centricity
New services and products are being created ever more quickly, but often they end up being identical to another provider's products. Companies are finding it noticeably more difficult to distinguish themselves from the competition with special differentiating features, and to highlight a specific added value. That is why an integrated customer centricity strategy is an important guide on the way to the optimum customer experience.
And it starts with the customer. Customer buying behaviors and expectations have changed significantly in recent years. In the age of social media, it is important to acquire brand ambassadors. This is only possible by building trust in the company, having the right instincts when it comes to managing modern technologies, as well as a personalized approach for the target groups. Five attributes must be reflected for customer centricity to develop effectively:
1. Understanding the customer: From pure customer orientation to customer centricity
Many companies believe they know what their customers want. But the goal must be to know what the customer really needs, not just what he or she wants. Hence only a holistic examination of customers across individual touch points presents a reliable basis for the right “diagnosis”.
At the same time, companies also face the challenge of correctly capturing the needs of their customers. Because greatly decentralized responsibilities, structures and processes that are “all about the customer” often make it quite difficult to assess demand. But such an assessment provides the basis for an integrative approach for customer-centric strategies. Platform-spanning and digitized options for interacting with potential buyers with real-time data and customer insights help with consolidating the decentralized structures and processes in a customer-centric manner.