Why being customer-centric is so important in 2020

By Alexandra Oke | 20 Jan 2020

With 2020 bringing with it more savvy consumers and dialled-in audiences than ever before, companies are quickly realising that a customer-centric business model can no longer be a long-term goal but an imperative focus.

Arguably even more important than product design and competitive pricing, a true customer-centric approach – where the customer’s entire experience is at the fore – is what companies should be striving for in the digital age.  

So, as we steamroll into the new year with our fresh, new content strategies and auspicious marketing plans, is your business truly walking the walk when it comes to user-friendly digital? If not, read our tips below to sharpen your customer focus.

Really listen to your audience

If we don’t listen to our audience, how do we really know what they want? It’s simple, really. However, according to Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer” report, despite 73% of customers expecting companies to understand their needs and expectations – only 51% say companies actually do.

If you think your brand might fall into this category, there’s plenty you can do. Take advantage of your social media platforms – not just to advertise – but to connect and engage with your customers to discover who they are and what they think about your brand. Social media monitoring may provide you with statistics, but social media listening gives you the chance to analyse discussions being had within the industry, what the public perception is of your brand and what your competitors are doing in the same space.

Encourage customer participation

What better way to involve your customers than by having them contribute to key business decisions? In fact, many big brands like Ikea and Lego now actively involve their customers in the product development phase, allowing for joint initiatives and customer-driven campaigns. Don’t forget, it’s all about what you do with the feedback after it’s received; these days, customers expect results based on their participation so be sure to respond accordingly.

Lean on your data and technology

No longer is artificial intelligence a foreign concept reserved for sci-fi films; emerging technologies like this are now an expectation among customers who are looking for the ultimate consumer experience. From capturing a customer’s browsing and purchasing history for personalised recommendations, to using chatbots to solve basic customer queries, there’s a wealth of benefits that come from employing the latest tech to understand your audience.

Create a sense of unity in-house

Being a ‘user-friendly’ brand requires just that: friendliness. Create an environment in your workplace where great ideas – and customer insights – can be heard and shared. Listen to feedback not only from your direct team, but from other departments, too. According to the report, 78% of customers expect consistent interactions across departments but a whopping 59% said it generally doesn’t feel that way. Internal silos resulting in customer data living within various departments is not only frustrating for the customer, but unhelpful for your overall goal.