How to Build a More Customer-Centric Company

Follow these four steps to elevate customer engagement.

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Follow these four steps to elevate customer engagement.

Adopting a more customer-centric culture is more important than ever, and it’s more than just saying “Thank you” or “Come again.” It means fully transforming your business philosophy so that your customers experience a memorable moment each and every time they interact with your company.

Shifting the focus to your clients can lead to bigger profits and a more fulfilled staff, which can only help in growing your business dream.

“Be fearless enough to engage with your customers not for a survey, but for a conversation,” says Jeanne Bliss, author of “Love You More Than My Dog: Five Decisions to Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad,” and founder and president of CustomerBliss. “Get them together and ask them what they need and how they feel. It doesn’t have to be an expensive project. The power is in the feedback.”

Bliss believes in first creating a journey framework that will help your small business organize a clear path to improved customer experiences. Here are four qualities of customer-centric companies to keep in mind as you look to improve your business strategy:

Customer-centric companies are inclusive. Happy employees will bring about happy customers. Business owners like you should meet with your staff to determine how to deliver a better experience. “Involve the people in your company in understanding the needs and emotions of your customers,” says Bliss. A dry cleaner, for example, can institute a policy whereby employees greet regular customers by name.

Customer-centric companies create ongoing conversations. Surveys are great but they can be impersonal and leave you with more questions than answers. Instead, think about multiple forms of customer feedback that truly explain clients’ needs, and provide emotional interaction with your company prior to, during, and after services rendered. “Remember that every time the customer interacts with you they are giving you an opportunity to listen to that feedback,” explains Bliss.

Customer-centric companies are accountable.
Discuss whether or not you truly have earned the right to grow. If you brought in 25 new customers but lost 15 old ones, is that a successful gain for you and your team? Create policies that will help your organization connect the business outcome to the work being done. “The idea is that every employee should realize we all have an impact and what we do really makes a difference,” says Bliss.

Customer-centric companies dig for the truth. As an organization, you can get the most out of your customer interaction by enabling your team to deliver a valued experience. Employees can develop a greater appreciation of the customer experience by asking honest questions such as “What can we do to improve?” or “Why have we lost certain customers?”

“Customer-centric companies are not doing business as usual, but reimagining their customer’s life, and that’s key,” remarks Bliss.

Transforming your company won’t happen overnight. But success will emerge from a genuine commitment to know your customers that is deliberate, consistent, and reliable.

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