By Simon Verzijl

Simon Verzijl

“Beyond the buzzword, what does ‘customer-centric’ mean for your organization?” – Simon Verzijl, group president for Customer Care Services at Xerox

Customers are powerful; they decide your market performance and profitability. One needs look no further than the gravity associated to Net Promoter Scores (NPS) to see this in action. In this vein, brands have rushed to label themselves “customer-centric.” Beyond the buzzword, what does this mean for your organization?

While brands scramble to build relationships with new customers, the lore that “once you are a customer, you are second class,” persists. Existing customers often find themselves overlooked, and subject to second-rate support, experiences, and perks.

This faux-customer centricity has fueled customer promiscuity and, with it, a cycle of customer neglect, churn and frustration. Why do brands consign existing customers to this fate? Their experiences of your products and services makes them experts on your brand. Their online and offline recommendations influence new sales – either in your favor or against.

Customer insights will play a pivotal role in your transformation to a truly customer-centric brand.  See how Xerox can help.

4 Ideas to Keep Your Customers Faithful

Care-based strategies will give your brand the insights to act in response to specific customer behaviors.

  1. Initiate a Conversation: The next time a customer accesses several of your support articles online; a chat box will initiate a conversation to resolve the issue and reaffirm your brand’s commitment to that individual customer.
  2. Build Trust First: Instead of attracting new customers with perks and money off, make building trust in the early stages of the relationship your priority. As more customers make more complex buying decisions online — from their next big technology purchase to houses and holidays — repurposing care content to promote confidence of the service in-life can accelerate the purchase decision in your favor. Microsoft Windows offers a case study of how to do this well (Windows 7), and not so well (Windows 8).
  3. Use Customer Care Insights: Understand the difference between your customers’ hygiene factors and delighters. Armed with this customer-centric knowledge, you can prioritize the extermination of issues that hurt the customer experience – such as a an insecure online payment portal –  over what unsatisfied customers will see as shiny, throwaway gimmicks – refer a friend, anyone?
  4. Love your existing customers: According to Google, 84 percent of your potential customers will have an opinion of your brand even before initial contact thanks to online reviews and recommendations. The solution: Capture customer insights wherever they exist, not only from your official support channels. Are you data-mining Reddit yet?

In today’s online, promoter-driven marketplace, a customer centric approach that values its existing customers as much as potential customers will take customer-centricity beyond the buzzword.

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