By A. Nandini, VP, Delivery, GlobalLogic
Imagine a business without customers, one where there is no one to cater to at the end of the ecosystem. Without the basic target audience, every business would lose its purpose and means to an end. Over the last few years, CEOs and leaders of organizations have come to realize how important it is to focus on the customer and carve out plans and strategies around that one target. A recent research showed that 89% of the business is expected to be competed based on customer experience. Customers, on the other hand, are also more allured by the idea of customer-centric organizations as they get personalized services and offerings where they know that their relationship will be appreciated and rewarded.
While it is imperative to make customer-centricity a major goal in business, it is also necessary to understand the concept. The concept of focusing on customers is deep-rooted in our ethos, and culture. As businesses evolve, we need to constantly keep our customers at the forefront and here are a few ways of doing it.
Empathizing with the customer: It is necessary to instill the culture of listening to the customer. Once the customer knows that we are empathizing with them, they are likely to take more interest in the company and this might also open the road for constructive feedback. As a product engineering company, we value the NPS system and this can pave the way for fresh perspectives and feedback at critical junctures, helping us to respond to issues in a timely manner.
Following a value strategy: If we aim to have customers who are there with us for long, we need to inculcate the habit of pushing beyond the boundaries among employees. One way of doing this is by investing in trainings and workshops with business consultants and domain experts, who brainstorm with teams to create customer value and help solve issues and potential challenges of the customers. They can bring in the best practices from across industries in solving a variety of problems.
Technology for better customer service: While many organizations are investing in virtual bots and assistants to serve customers, a bad bot can ruin the entire experience. Therefore, we need to use technology wisely and economically at the right time to enhance the customer experience and ensure the organization gets to learn and progress from it.
No compromise on design: The proximity of design to engineering operations is a key determinant of operational activity for global companies, especially in times of major technological change. The design process develops the characteristics, quality and performance of the product/service which in turn creates customer interest and establishes a brand.
Design led engineering is central to many organizations today as it helps them to design products and services for customers keeping their needs in mind and using technology to realize their vision. Technology thus becomes an enabler in solving the customer’s problems. Engineers love dabbling with technology and disruptive technology often excites them irrespective of whether it’s required or might solve the customer’s problem in the right way. Being customer-centric enables organizations to choose the right technology.
Every interaction counts: The smallest of interactions needs to be valued and looked at as an opportunity to impress the customer. Since the competition is high and the cost of winning a new customer is substantially high as compared to the cost of retaining existing customers, it is important to not just provide fine products and services but also nurture relationships and provide world class customer experience for improved customer delight.
Treat your own people right: We can’t be customer-centric if we don’t value our employees – our internal customers – hence there’s always the need to focus on employee engagement survey and taking the survey as seriously as NPS. Beyond the surveys, it is necessary to engage employees in a bigger cause with the organization. Employees should feel connected with the organization in multiple ways by giving back to society through different programs and internal workshops.
A few simple steps can go a long way in making organizations customer-centric and helping them in making progress in this new age of dynamic technology. As a part of the technological ecosystem, organizations need to remember that an excess of mechanical approach might work till a certain point, but the human touch is what brings customers closer. When we speak of a culture where we focus on customers, we do not just mean putting customer at the center of core business but also having a sustainable relationship with them where both can grow. If organizational priorities are in the right place, any business or technology can win customers and evolve beautifully over a long period of time.