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Customer satisfaction

Four essentials to becoming a customer centric organisation

Posted 14 September 2016
by Allegra Consulting

Customer centric is the new black but what does it actually mean? While it’s true that most companies would consider themselves to be customer focused, brands that are committed to customer centricity are passionate and truly believe that the customer comes first. 

Caroline Mills from Allegra Consulting says it’s not just about keeping the customer in mind; it’s about placing the customer at the heart of everything you do. With the speed of change today (think of the Pokémon Go phenomenon) what is also happening is customers’ expectations are continuing to increase with that pace of change. With customers experiencing great, fast, and easy service such as they get with Uber, Amazon and other companies their expectations change towards all service industries.

“Being customer centric means that every time you think about, design and market products or services, the conversation starts with the customer experience in mind,” she said.

Numerous research studies show that those taking a customer-centric approach regularly outperform their competitors, and companies like Amazon, and more recently Uber, are certainly reaping the benefits. So what can we learn from them?

1. Their leaders walk the talk

When employees see senior leaders taking customer satisfaction seriously, it reinforces a customer-first attitude at all levels. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is famous for leaving an empty chair at the conference table and letting attendees know it's occupied by the “the most important person in the room” – the customer. He then supports this symbolism with a suite of robust measures that relate directly to customer satisfaction.

2. They make it simple for customers to do business with them

These days we’re all time poor and your customers want to get what they need from you —fast. The beauty of Uber’s service lies in its simplicity. No call centres, no queues. With just a few taps on your smartphone your car is on the way, you know who and where your driver is, and payment is automatically linked to your Uber account. Seamless.

3. They get everyone onboard

If you want to transform your culture, you need to make sure that everyone in the company, not just those at the coalface, are committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences. At Amazon, every employee, including board-level executives are expected to get some "street cred" and attend two-day call centre training. 

4. They’re accountable

To be truly customer-centric, you need to make it easy for customers to give you feedback and show them you’re acting on it. Uber asks every customer to rate his or her driver after each use and uses this real-time feedback to swiftly correct any issues and ensure only the best drivers stay on the road.

The journey to customer centricity is not an easy endeavor but in the age of social media, it’s well worth the effort. After all, as Bezos said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000.”

Allegra Consulting acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.