Delivering exemplary customer experience has been the non-COVID conversation of the last year as retailers adapted to a rapidly changing environment as retail moved out of the physical store and online in response to the pandemic. But as customers navigate this hybrid marketplace what does it mean to be customer-centric in 2021 as opposed to 2020?
According to Blake Morgan, Senior Contributor to Forbes’s CMO Network “[j]ust because a company was once customer-centric doesn’t mean it still is in 2021.” In her column this week, Morgan outlines 6 essential characteristics of customer centric organizations that fit with how today’s retailers, banks, and insurers look to build deep and lasting relationships with their customers.
First up is to create a culture of customer centricity. For Morgan, this begins with the C-Suite and a lead by example attitude. As she notes: “The most customer-centric leaders set the example to ingrain a customer focus into the culture and make customers central to every decision the company makes.”
The second attribute of a customer centric organization is a focus on personalization. Today, it’s not enough to plug “a customer’s name into a mass email … they need to create a unique experience tailored to each customer,” she writes.
The third attribute Morgan identifies is that customer centric brands work harder so that their customers don’t have to. She notes that convenience is the name of the game in 2021. With customers lives already on overload, the most successful brands are the ones that make it easy for customers to interact with them, find the information they need, and complete the transaction be it scheduling an appointment, returning an item, or fixing an issue. “A customer-centric alternative [to a fixed hours contact center] is a self-service option where customers can chat with a bot at any time of day or night and then be seamlessly transferred to a human agent if they need extra assistance. Self-service options may be more difficult for companies and require more time and resources, but they make customers’ lives easier.”
Want to find out what the other three attributes of a customer centric organization are? You can do that here.