an industry where consumers are empowered by choice, client centricity plays a critical role in a company’s long-term success. Being client centric is no longer an option, it’s now essential.
Client centricity isn’t just focusing on what your customers want, it’s about recognizing your business’ brand and providing consistent quality. Although customers come first in the decision-making process, not all their ideas should be implemented. For example, customers may want more legroom in the economy section for an airplane, but they will respond negatively to a consequential increase in prices. Smart businesses will put focus on their customers first, but will also take every detail into account.
A client-centric culture is one that takes external elements and adopt them into the organization. The products or services that are offered shouldn’t be based on internal resources and process, but based on what customers want and need. To create a customer-centric culture in the organization, there are five general steps to follow:
1. Have a clear mission and vision
Your values are what your employees will follow, so it should be clear and easy to understand. When there are options to choose from, the decision maker can relate back to the company’s values to determine the most viable solution.
2. Be nimble to changes in customer behavior and demand
As customers change, so must we. Although there are understandably numerous limitations, it’s important to remain agile and responsive to external changes. An example of a response to customer change is when numerous CPG companies changed their packaging to “gluten-free” and “vegan” when the two lifestyles gained popularity in 2011.
3. Recognize your customer’s needs and expectations
Your customer’s expectations are very important when it comes to relationship building. What may seem like a trivial problem to an organization may receive unpredictable attention over social media. This will be the difference between good and bad public relations for a company. Managing your customer’s needs and expectations is key to controlling the organization’s reputation and brand image.
4. Clearly communicate the importance of customer-centric behavior to every employee
Your organization must be dedicated to building an internal culture of client centricity. Below is a diagram that shows how to implement a client-focused work environment.
5. Make every decision tie back to the values
Companies that follow this rule will strengthen their brand and create a strong internal operation. Decision-makers must have client centricity placed at every stage of the decision-making process.
Tips to having your team adopt a client-centric culture:
1. Dedicate training to this topic: Training should be the first step in getting your organization on board with the values of the company. When client-centricity is a part of training, it creates a sense of legitimacy right off the bat.
2. Keep it simple: Have employees understand the values of the organization in simple and short phrases. For example, Subway’s external and internal slogan is “eat fresh”, so employees are always mindful to check the quality of produce being sold.
3. Make it visual: Creating visual cues for employees will improve retention. This can be in the form of a promotional poster, uniform, etc.
KNOLSKAPE offers a two-day-long ‘Delivering High Performance through Client Centricity’ program that helps participants appreciate the mindset required to be client-centric. Through a series of software simulations namely ChangeQuest and Inbox, interactive case studies and other experiential learning products, participants learn to deliver high performance by building relationships, managing expectations and delivering customer service to the clients.
The program enables the participants to achieve the following outcomes:
1. Deliver exceptional client satisfaction scores
2. Ensure repeat business with the client, thereby lowering client acquisition costs
3. Generate new businesses through positive word of mouth and references
KNOLSKAPE’s award-winning simulations uses experiential learning and gamification to attract, grow and retain talent. Global Fortune 500 companies and Top-10 B-schools use KNOLSKAPE’s products and solutions for on-boarding, training, assessments, and talent engagement strategies.
Photo credit: Generationentrepreneur.com.au