Is customer centricity still a black box?

by gatekeeper on 17.08.2019

If you ask a company, how do they foster the relationship with their customer base, the mostly likely answer would be a marketing, sales or customer care initiative aiming the motivate the consumer to engage with the company. Classical examples are the service chats bots, loyalty programs or newsletters with appealing offers. Even recommendations systems as part of database marketing campaigns do not capture the true meaning of customer centricity.

A true relationship is built on the basis of trust and value, that is relevant for the consumer at every step of the way fulfilling wishes or desirable end-states. This value could be economical, emotional, hedonistic or culminate in true benefits like convenience and unforgettable experience. Correspondingly, companies that can understand and map the value creation across touch points (e.g. social media, direct mail, contact centers) are cable to ensure a strong bond with their clients. Improved customer experience boost sales, improve margins and the cycle is closed with reinvestment in new capabilities (digital content, self-service apps, success programs and so on). A popular example is Amazon, the e-commerce leader launched Amazon Prime Video for Prime customers — they have gratis delivery, free access to VoD services, books and music. This is an illustration of adding layers of benefits giving customers reasons to maintain the relationship with Amazon. However, it is not only about the prime service, but the absolute excellence in processes created around the shopper — the membership is only the final manifestation of customer-centricity ‚its about the fulfillment of a core promise: a personalized, frictionless experience throughout the lifecycle.

Anyone who can create identical value chains as described above and communicate them in a proper way goes straight to the customer relationship heaven. For the most part, it must be said that many business entities claim, that are truly customer-focused, but in reality this doesn’t apply to them. Managers are often puzzled by the fact, that high value customers are churning despite expensive investments into multi-channel solutions designed for customer retention. In similar situations, the best approach is to step back and take time to talk to the consumers in order to understanding their desires. Services and commodities in general should be relevant and resolve real problems no matter how clients are segmented. Finally, the key to success is building lifetime relationships between brands and customers by innovative business models capturing that meaning.

2 Responses to Is customer centricity still a black box?

  • Nora says:

    Fighting back churn and adding new customers — one of the most challenging equations.

    • gatekeeper says:

      Hello Nora. You are talking about the lifetime customer value. Adding new customer could mean also up/cross-selling revenue.

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