You may be curious as to why “Customer centricity” has been at the centre of businesses for years now. Well, it’s because putting customers in the very centre of a company’s universe pays off! People are less interested in how you operate or manage your processes and are more concerned with gaining value. It is your job to make this as easy and smooth of a process as possible. This may feel like it’s not new information, however, even when most people believe they are applying customer-centric approaches to marketing, seldom are businesses able to make the most use of it.

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Bain and Company, Closing The Delivery Gap, 2005.

Why is a customer centric approach to marketing important?

Here are some statistics to put the reason into perspective.

  1. In 2013, 62% of consumers changed providers because of poor experiences – a rise of 4% compared to the previous year. (Accenture, Global Consumer Pulse Survey, 2013)
  2. “Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” (Harvard Business Review, 2014)
  3. “Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn.” (Huffington Post, 2017)
  4. Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those that are not. (Deloitte)
  5. According to Majority of buyers (86%) is willing to pay more for better customer experience. (Superoffice)

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The difference between customer retention and customer loyalty.

Retention ≠ Loyalty.

A retained customer is someone who continues to buy from your brand, but a loyal customer would prefer to buy from your brand. They go out of their way to look for you.

You can get people to come back and purchase again, thereby retaining them, but retention is only a short-term strategy. It feeds into loyalty as a long-term strategy, whereby there is almost an emotional connection between the brand and the buyer.

Cultivating and establishing loyalty between your brand and your customers through personalized communication and exchanges will ultimately enhance the customer experience and deepen the relationship.

Loyalty is a strategy that pays off in the long run.

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How is customer-centric marketing beneficial to a business?

Marketing built with a focus on its customers works best for driving primary interests. Why? because it adds value above anything else. Some benefits that come along with customer-centric marketing include the following:

Credibility, trust and a solid reputation.

Delivering on the company’s promises consistently will give your customers a reason to believe in your business brand. Your company will gain customers’ trust and confidence and increase its level of credibility and reputation.

A solid competitive advantage.

When your company is customer-centric, and customers talk about it positively, its brand can rise to a top-of-mind position, giving it a distinct edge over its competition.

Reduced employee stress and friction.

When there are clear-cut, customer-centric standards that all employees believe in and follow consistently, they’ll know what to do and when. These guidelines can lessen confusion and customer mess-ups and in turn, greatly reduce employee friction and stress.

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Increases word-of-mouth referrals and saves your marketing budget.

When customers rave about your business and continuously refer new customers your way, the company can often adjust its marketing budget to reflect these inbound leads. It takes more marketing and advertising dollars to acquire new customers than to wow the current ones.

Gives you improved sustainability.

When your business treats all its customers exceptionally well and with respect, it can reduce its risk for attrition. Brand-loyal customers who value your company and people may be less inclined to jump ship when your competitors entice them with attractive “carrots.” Since customer retention is a vital contributor to sustainability, your business is in a better position to weather economic downturns, crises, and other business threats.

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What are the risks to being customer-centric?

Customer Service Nbc GIF By Superstore
Source: Giphy

While customer-centricity is mostly associated with positive results, there have been rising concerns that focusing too much on customers (especially without permission) can make marketers appear invasive.

As more businesses are investing resources to get closer to their customers, it’s important to recognize that there are boundaries that customers don’t want you to cross.

Hyper-targeting, message fatigue, and ads that are insensitive to their personal situation (like unwanted health product ads following people with sensitive medical issues, or mothers that have suffered miscarriages being targeted with baby ads).

Expert marketers recommend that current marketers maintain a position of neutrality, so not as to appear too pushy that they overlook the needs and concerns of their customers. Your business marketing strategy and approach should be welcoming, affirmative, and personable. This will leave an impressionable mark with your client that they keep coming back for more.

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