The customer is the heart and soul of many flourishing businesses, yet unfortunately, their needs and the value of their loyalty are so often underestimated.
Those that manage to put their customers first and smash through the ceiling of expectations can relish in the many tangible business benefits.
Adopting a customer-centric business model can help you to ensure that you nurture the customer experience from start to finish, hopefully growing your brand in a positive light at the same time.
What exactly does a customer-centric business model consist of? A good jumping-off point would be to recognize that you likely need them more than they need you, particularly if you are operating in a highly competitive field.
If you wish to find out more about the many great benefits this kind of model can offer you and your company, then it is worth reading on.
Making your business accessible to all of your customers is not only the right way to go, but it can help you extend your brand’s reach, create an environment of inclusion, and allow people to benefit from your brand no matter their personal situation.
This also pertains to your online accessibility too. Failing to comply with ADA regulations not only looks bad for your brand, but it could land you in some legal trouble and quite possibly some hefty fines. If you need some pointers from the experts regarding your company website’s accessibility, or you want to ensure that you are already doing enough, then you may want to check out this in-depth explanation.
Customer accessibility is extremely important, and failing to at the very least meet the industry standard is probably not going to do your company image any favors.
Opting to make your business transparent can be a key component of what makes customer centricity work.
Without it, you may have a difficult time convincing anyone that you truly care about your customers or their experience.
In fact, according to a survey featured in Digital Weekday, 82% of respondents wished for greater transparency in business.
This might be a convincing statistic for any business owner who happens to be sat on the fence about whether or not to keep their operations under a tight wrap.
What does transparency mean exactly? It can pertain to:
- Making sure your customers know how your products are made, where the materials are sourced from, and what kind of labor conditions your company has created.
- Being honest with your customers and your staff.
- Who your business partners are.
- Letting your audience know about your company values and message.
Ultimately, openness and honesty are the main subjects worth striving for, as they can make your brand come across as more trustworthy in the eyes of those who matter most, the customer.
Driving Repeat Business
If you have ever received terrible service somewhere, there is every chance you never even thought twice about not going back.
Similarly, if you can think of a time when you received amazing service, you might remember recommending it to a friend or becoming a loyal customer yourself.
Herein lies perhaps the most valuable aspect of a customer-centric business: The chance to drive repeat business.
Loyal customers are incredibly valuable to businesses. They often become brand advocates, spreading the good word of your brand wherever they go.
Moreover, if you are able to get them to wear branded merchandise, you are essentially netting yourself some free advertising, all because you practiced general decency and put the customer experience first.
Putting your customers first can also serve as a great way to level the playing field, particularly if you are a smaller business that needs to keep a closer eye on your budget than most.
For example, say you needed to cover your manufacturing/importing costs, so you priced your products slightly higher than your larger competitors – it is worth noting that your ability to make up for those extra costs in your offering of exceptional service can go a long way.
Paying more should mean getting more, and if that ‘more’ is a joyous experience, you might be on to a winner, no matter what kind of budget you need to work with.
Customers that do not trust you may not have a good enough incentive to interact with your brand ever again.
Why should they if they have the entire online world at their fingertips, and therefore, all of your competitors?
Customer centricity can help you reduce this churn rate while, at the same time, it enables you to increase your trustworthiness.
Many people are highly skeptical and cynical when it comes to the prospect of handing money over to big business these days, so you may need to go the extra mile to prove that you are not a cartoonishly evil mega-corporation from an Orwellian nightmare.
Some of the best ways that you can build brand trustworthiness through a customer-centric business model include:
• Keep Your Word – This might be true of life in general, both in and outside of business, but keeping your word is crucial. In many ways, trust-building takes time, and it is often done through your ability to follow through on your promises.
• Know Your Field of Work – Expertise is a hugely valuable tool. If you can answer questions about your field of work and in-depth ones at that, you should be able to convince people that you are a worthy authority to turn to.
• Accept Your Mistakes and Admit Them – If you make a mistake and the customer sees it, then why deny that it happened in the first place? This just makes you look bad, insincere, and foolish. Admitting your mistakes takes courage, and it helps your customers know that you are willing to learn and develop.
Customer centricity has its many perks, some of which could give you the edge you need to thrive in a competitive business arena.