Cracking the Customer Centric Service Code
Customer Centric Service Code is a revolutionary by-product of customer engagement and bottom line revenue increase. Best University professors are talking about it day and day it. Companies are driving training divisions to develop new customer centric strategies. For the last 10 years, various organisations have been using this nomenclature. Customer centricity or customer centric business strategy is not a new word. Before we begin our journey, let us first understand what really is customer centricity or a customer centric strategy. Customer centricity actually has a theoretical meaning and a practical meaning as well. Customer Centric Service is a mindset, process and delivery mechanism.
Many professors and educationists will tell you that customer centricity simply means putting the customer at the centre of every experience. Creating customer value and putting customers first is the sole fabric of a superior customer centric approach. It is a practice in motion. It has a long-term business value. It’s a language really. Many of the customer service experts believe that professional communication skills training and professional customer service training to participants can do wonders.
Another perspective is the practical approach. Is a customer centric approach only applicable for your existing customers? Or is it a value system that goes down to your suppliers and buyers? Is it also controlling the way you do business? Does it have an effect on your public relations with other organisations and even your competitors?
Today the world revolves around circulating units of experience for a customer. I will give you an example of the online market industry. A consumer goes to any particular website and clicks a service or a product. And that particular product will likely be shipped to that particular customer in a certain amount of time. So that particular customer will be talking indirectly via the website. The customer also might be talking to the contact center. And the customer also might be interacting with the person who delivers the product at his doorstep.
Imagine the customer interacting with so many instances. And many of these instances are all beyond the control and handling of the company. Many of these events cannot be controlled or measured. Companies will negate these as part of the overall customer value proposition. But the customer would be evaluating all of these principles as part of the customer centric model of any organisation.
The customer will never care how an organisation is typically organised. He will also never believe that you or your organisation is only a subset of the entire life-cycle value of a product or service. This belief system revolves around a complete sell to delivery model. Customer Centric Mindset is not necessarily a part of or skills of leadership. Many team members who are customer savy are not leaders at all.
Creating a Customer Centric Service
Working with organisations and training a variety of different companies across the globe, our experts have realised that customer centricity and customer centric focus is actually more of a belief system. You need to hire the right people for the right jobs. But also you need to hire the right people with the right mindset.
“MindSet is the Key to Success for the Future Markets. We have already created talent and skill. But MindSet is a different ball game.” CEO, ThinkFaculty
This factor alone is going to be the main differentiator in the market. Let us share with you a very interesting example to conclude this in a practical scenario. We were actually doing training and development for a financial Institute in Dubai. One of the alarming elements was that the financial people really thought of themselves as financial experts and did not understand the value proposition of the customer. That is when we spoke to the chief executive officer and told them that the mindset is the social and moral fabric and it does not exist in their teams. They had a team of experts at the right skill set but not the right mindset. And they reevaluated the organisation and actually got a different team of people who believed in the overall customer centricity business focus and execution model.
Building a Customer Centric Culture
Always realise that being the right person with the right skill set doesn’t matter that much any more. It is really your contribution to the bottom line. It is how you think. It is how you actually run your daily operations. Every single day has to be a certain ingredient of success. You need to be thinking how does the customer value your proposition. Always realise that there’s a big difference between the customers understanding and the organisations understanding of customer satisfaction. Even the janitor to the manager of operations needs to at least think with the right customer centric mindset.
The second most important part in creating a customer centric organisation is processes and environment. Well if you hire the right people with the right mindset but you don’t have an environment where they can actually deliver the customer centric value then everything is really lost. We work with organisations that have hired the right people but the organization does not have the right value environment where decisions can be made and projects executed immediately. That is not acceptable. If you really want a customer centric value then you need to actually have people with the right mindset and the environment where they can actually contribute significantly. Change is going to be the constant. Allow them to change the normal frontiers and focus on the things that really matter.
Create a Customer Centric Department
Not every person is customer service focused or even built to serve. In fact, begin with hiring a customer centric officer and build a department accordingly. We’ve often found that organisations will benefit from a person or a team of individuals who can lead this exciting and challenging project. And for smaller organizations, it can simply be the CEO himself.
An example of this is actual local hardware store in Asia. The owner Ash Harris has amazing customer service mindset. He not only delivers wood at the doorsteps but also goes and listens to his competitors customers who have complained about his competitors on different social media sites. So he actually visits these customers and understands what their customer competitors did wrong and actually gives a value proposition of his own product line. He also meets his own vendors and finds out if they are also using the same value proposition as he does. He wants to conclude that all his vendors and partners can stand up to the commitments he works on with his customers. The only difference now is that his business is growing and growing.
Another key customer the we like to focus on is a local healthcare service provider that actually sells healthcare services online. This local healthcare service provider s a customer centric organization whose value can be recognized. They have done a brilliant job in actually understanding what the customer really wants and share with them the healthcare tips and services that are only valuable in their eyes. Though they have an extensive program but still keep on continuously talking to their customers to understand the product delivery. Customer centric focus and commitment is bringing forward new revenue streams.
Dr. Peter Fader on Customer Centricity
Also to realise that every customer is not the same. We do not live in the world any more aware that the same principles apply. You simply cannot give the same quality of service to every single customer. Hence you really need to segment your market place. Many of your customers will not provide you with the same value add as other customers will. And that is really the secret. You need to really understand the overall benefit of a particular segment base and focus your products and services accordingly.
This is the approach that has been taken by Dr Peter from the warden business School.
This approach towards customer is simply mind-blowing.
Above we have given 8 tips from experts to crack the customer centric code and build on the values of a customer centric organization. If you have any inputs, please do share as well. Love to hear your views.