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Three strategies to create a customer centric culture and build a loyal customer base

Customer centric organizations that deliver superior customer experiences have one important success factor in common, they have loyal customers. By Ryan Tamminga, Vice President of Customer Success at Alchemer.

These brands recognize that a world class customer experience strategy creates loyalty within their customer base, which in turn leads to growth and success. The best of the best brands empower their frontline leaders to impact the customer experience at the individual customer level.

When someone brings up brands that are known for delivering amazing customer experiences that drive customer loyalty, Disney is often the first example. The Disney Parks experience is curated like no other theme park. Disney recognizes that having a great theme park is not enough. They empower their frontline leaders across the organization to respond to individual customer feedback at the right time and to make a difference. That is what leads to superior customer experience which in turn drives lifetime loyalty.

With COVID-19 turning more customer experiences into digital experiences, customer centricity is more important than ever. Companies must appreciate and recognize that customers want to be valued and not seen as transactional. Here are three strategies to consider when building a customer-centric culture that enhances customer experience and drives valuable customer loyalty.

#1 – Deeply understand your customers

For companies to be truly customer-centric, it is essential to collect customer feedback through the channels where your customers engage the most, and at every stage of the customer journey.

Your customers are more than a contact record in a CRM or a buyer persona. Seek to go beyond the boundaries of transactional relationships. Customers want to feel valued and heard. Be sure to consider the answer to this question, “how do customers know that their voice has been heard?” Collecting feedback from your customers is not what makes them feel understood. It is the personalized response from a business that proves they were heard and understood.

#2 – Amplify customer feedback company-wide

Customer feedback should be transparent and accessible to everyone. Democratizing feedback across the business allows everyone to participate in the customer experience, keeping in mind that at each point of the customer journey different departments may have an impact on the customer experience.

Extend existing technology platforms, like a CRM, service management system, or enterprise messaging product by wiring in all customer feedback. This makes customer feedback accessible to everyone in the company from within the systems they use every day. Putting feedback into the systems employees use every day provides employees an enhanced view into the customer without disrupted their normal work routine. Providing unfiltered, individual feedback at this level helps ensure that the customer is the star of any company meeting, decision, or customer interaction.

#3 – Empower Your Frontline Leaders to Take action

Acting first on feedback from individual customers rather than looking to aggregated insights is essential to customer centricity. Closing the loop with individual customers in a timely manner is essential in earning that customer’s loyalty. While it is useful to capture customer trends in dashboards and reports, it can hide the voice of the individual customer. This in turn can also delay the response to individual customer request, suggestion, concern, and compliment.

Can you think of a time where you spoke with a customer service representative on the phone and they surprised and delighted you? Perhaps they listened to all of your concerns and made you feel heard. Or maybe they resolved your issue faster than you could have imagined. Those representatives were empowered to do what it takes to turn around your experience. This positive customer experience may have turned you into a loyal customer, and one who shares the experience with others.

Conclusion: Adopt customer-centric leading practices to drive customer experience and loyalty

Disney has built a fiercely loyal customer base and earned a customer-centric reputation because of the stellar customer experience they deliver. Customer-centric companies recognize the importance of providing customer feedback to their employees on the front lines to help them deliver superior customer experiences. Following the example of these brands by responding to individual feedback personally and empowering all employees is critical to achieving the mission of excelling at customer service. Doing so can help you stand in the good company of other customer-centric leaders and consistently surprise and delight your customers.

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