Advantages of Customer-Centric Businesses

Reading Time: 6 minutes 24 seconds
All businesses need customers to survive, whether it’s a B2B or B2C. Some businesses operate on a product-centric approach, putting less care into their customers. However, having a customer-centric business brings advantages that other types of businesses don’t have.

What is a Customer-Centric Business?

A customer-centric business puts its focus on the customer’s experience, thus building brand loyalty. As its name suggests, customers come first in this style of business. This however doesn’t mean that the customer is always right, it means listening to them is a crucial part of setting up good customer relationships. Sometimes, the improvements customers ask for will be unreasonable but the underlying message of their requests will still yield good ideas. Businesses do this to create meaningful connections with their customers and improve their customers’ experience.

Advantages

The whole philosophy of business changes when it becomes customer-centric. With these changes come benefits for the company as a whole. These advantages include qualities such as being data-driven, building brand trust, as well as, having customers boost the presence or brand awareness.

Data-Driven Decisions

Understanding customer psychology helps a great deal in analyzing data. This data can be taken from surveys or any platform where your company interacts with your customers. Different ways data can be collected:
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Website analytics
  • Market analysis
  • Social media monitoring
Depending on what decisions you need to make, you’ll want to switch up which methods of data collection you will use. You can use a combination of these methods to gain a better understanding of your customers and their wants and needs. For example, if you want to roll out version 2.0 of a product, you could have focus groups test out the product and rate it when compared with older versions or competing products. Simultaneously, you could look for reviews of your older product on social media and release a survey to find out what other features people want and what features they didn’t like. Nike made a shift to a more customer-centric business model and used machine learning to give its customers a more personalized experience in the form of specialized sales and discounts built around the preferences of each user. The benefit to having data-driven changes would be the measurable results after. You can see exactly how impactful listening to your customer base is. It also leads to building brand trust.

Brand Trust

The Journal of Global Strategic Management defines brand trust as “the willingness of the average consumer to rely on the ability of the brand to perform its stated function.” Putting it simply, it’s the ability for someone to trust that a brand will live up to its name. For example, Nike’s purpose is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete,” and they deliver on this promise, not just by their sports apparel, but also by the content and contributions to the sporting community. Nike has built brand trust so they are now synonymous with high-quality sports apparel. When fostered, brand trust leads to brand loyalty, which according to Investopedia is “the positive association consumers attach to a particular product or brand.” Brand loyalty can be seen when one of your customers repeatedly chooses your brand over the alternatives. Going back to the Nike example, brand loyalty is seen when someone has repeatedly bought Nike over any other athletic shoe brands such as Adidas or Under Armor. How does this tie in with a customer-centric business? Essentially, customer-centric businesses have an easier time building relationships with their customers. Relationships require communication and that is what they do best.

Increased Presence and Brand Awareness

Brand awareness, as defined by Investopedia, is “the degree of consumer recognition of a product by its name.” If you think of a product or service such as soda or insurance, what names come to mind? Chances are you’ll think of names that you’ve seen in some form of advertising or that you heard about. Only counting the human element, there are 4 main ways to increase brand awareness.
  • Brand Ambassadors
  • Influencers
  • Affiliates
  • Customer

Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors are people who are paid to represent a company. Going back to the Nike example, famous footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo. What separates brand ambassadors from similar jobs would be the fact that they have the ability to speak for the company and are experts in their field. They are Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) who have the ability to sway their audience’s perceptions in favor of whatever brand they’re partnering with.

Influencers

Think of influencers as famous people that others listen to. They have a loyal following on whatever platform they use to reach their audience. Today, anyone popular on social media who has enough followers can become an influencer for a brand. While not necessarily professionals in whatever they’re paid to promote, they have built enough trust in their audience to be able to sway their opinions.

Affiliates

Affiliates are similar to influencers with the exception that they’re paid a commission. Like influencers, they have a loyal following on whatever platform they’re using and can sway their audience’s opinion. In today’s society, a majority of affiliates are more transparent, making sure to state that they are affiliates and that any promotion will result in them making money.

Customers

Customers are one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. Not because they can sway the masses or have a ton of purchasing power, but because they’re free and usually bring other loyal customers. An endorsement from someone close to you means a lot more than some rich guy on TV saying how great a product is when you’re aware they’re being paid to say those things. A customer endorsing your product or service is a good sign that your company is on the right track, especially if they say things like “the company really cares about its customers” or “they made all the improvements we asked for.”

The Wrap Up

By putting customers first, your business is able to see a different perspective which allows for decisions to be made that better the company. Being known as a customer-centric business can bring benefits such as free advertising and brand loyalty. Whether you’re a product or service-centric business, it wouldn’t hurt to implement practices that more customer-first businesses perform. You’ll find that customers will respond better to being noticed and that may lead to more advertising and business that you didn’t necessarily pay for.

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