360 degree customer-centricity

«Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat» Sun Tzu, the Art of War 

Reflecting this to customer centricity, my area of passion and dedication, I can only acertain that a lot of companies are claiming to be customer centric but are failing to put the right efforts to get it done effectively.

Implementing a customer centric strategy is easier said than done and requires a lot of hard combined efforts from the entire organization.

  • Generally it starts by creating a clear vision that outlines your company's commitment to putting the customer at the center of everything you do.
  • Then, it’s about alignement. You need to make sure sure that all teams in your company, including sales, marketing, and product development, are aligned around your customer-centric vision and strategy.
  • The best way is to get it done is to understand your different groups of customers you want to target and understand their specific needs, preferences and pain points. Customer is your only source of truth. Stop emotions and put more facts in the decision making process. Ban expressions such as « I believe » or  « I know » and replace them by « our customer findings  tell us that ….»
  • You should also focus on the customer experience: Design your products, services, and processes to deliver a positive experience for your customers. This means making it easy for them to interact with your company and providing value that meets their needs.
  • Gather customer feedback, all the times to understand their satisfaction levels, pain points, and areas for improvement. Use this feedback to make changes to your products, services, and processes.
  • Use key metrics such as customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue to measure the success of your customer-centric strategy. Use this data to make improvements and fine-tune your strategy.
  • Continuously strive to improve your customer-centric strategy by gathering feedback and staying up to date with industry trends and best practices.
  • Communicate your customer-centric strategy to your employees and make sure they understand the importance of putting the customer first. Educate them about the strategy and provide them with the tools and resources they need to execute it.

In summary, a customer-centric strategy and execution is an ongoing process that requires commitment and dedication from everyone in the organization. It's not a one-time initiative, but rather a way of doing business that must be continuously refined, communicated and executed to meet the changing needs and expectations of the customers.

Sales and Marketing alignment

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus is a book written by American author and relationship counselor John Gray which I’m sure everyone of you is familiar with.

The book states that most common relationship problems between men and women are a result of fundamental psychological differences between the sexes, which the author exemplifies by means of its eponymous that men and women are from distinct planets : Men from Mars and women from Venus and that each sex is acclimated to its own planet's society and customs, but not to those of the other. Final aim is still to form couple but this requires a lot of compromises on both sides with common understanding and goals to make the association work.

I my business experiences I felt that a sales and marketing relationship had a lot in common with a Mars and Venus relationship :
Both populations lacks understanding of each other's roles and responsibilities and have different objectives and metrics for measuring success, which can lead to conflicts and misalignment.

Sales and marketing teams may have different communication styles and preferences, which can make it difficult for them to effectively communicate and collaborate.

Without trust and cooperation between teams, it can be difficult to effectively collaborate and achieve common goals.

So what is the trick to make the Sales and Marketing couple work ?

Well, like for every couple the magic happens in the discussion and in the respective trust :

Regular meetings and open communication channels can help ensure that both teams are on the same page and can work together effectively.

Marketers and sellers need to make sure that they understand their specific roles and responsibilities in achieving the goal, and that there is no overlap or confusion.

Joint incentives rewarding the sales and marketing teams together when they achieve the goal can help align them around the same objective.

In summary, lasting couples relies on good communication, trust, honesty and shared values and goals. In contrary to real couples, sellers and marketers may not necessary need to share emotions and connect on a close level, but this is another good discussion to have…

What is customer centricity ?

Customer centricity is the idea that a business should focus on the needs and wants of its customers in order to create a positive experience and build long-term loyalty. This involves understanding what customers value and designing products, services, and policies with their needs in mind.   Customer centricity is important because it can help a business to :

  • Improve customer satisfaction : By focusing on the needs of customers, a business can create a better experience for them and increase their satisfaction.
  • Increase customer loyalty: When customers feel that their needs are being met, they are more likely to return to the business and recommend it to others. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, which is important because it is typically more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones.
  • Differentiate the business from competitors: By focusing on the customer experience, a business can stand out from its competitors and differentiate itself in the market.
  • Increase profitability: When a business focuses on customer needs, it can increase its profitability by retaining and attracting more customers, as well as by creating products and services that meet the needs of a wider range of customers. You can you improve customer centricity in your business engagement by doing simple things :
  • Understand customer needs: A business should strive to understand the needs, wants, and preferences of its customers, and design its products, services, and policies with those needs in mind. This can involve gathering customer feedback through surveys, focus groups, and other research methods.
  •  Provide excellent customer service: Providing high-quality customer service is an important aspect of customer centricity. This includes being responsive to customer inquiries, addressing concerns and complaints in a timely and satisfactory manner, and providing support and assistance as needed.
  • Empower employees to deliver great customer experiences: Businesses should ensure that their employees are trained and empowered to deliver great customer experiences. This includes providing employees with the tools, resources, and support they need to meet customer needs and exceed customer expectations.
  • Use customer feedback to drive improvement: A business should actively seek out and listen to customer feedback, and use it to improve products, services, and processes. This can involve gathering customer feedback through surveys, focus groups, and other research methods.
  • Foster a customer-focused culture:A business should strive to create a culture that is centered around the needs of its customers. This can involve setting customer-centric goals and metrics, and rewarding employees for meeting customer needs and delivering great customer experiences.

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