Customer centricity is one of the fundamental aspects of positioning any company. However, do the perceptions of business leaders about the consumer centricity of their business align with the actual perceptions of customers?
The pandemic has changed the perception of customer centricity. Companies had to reevaluate their approach to interacting with customers. Digital transformation became of paramount importance, and one might have expected a significantly improved customer experience as a result. However, in reality, the outcome has been different.
According to a June survey by Customer Contact Week Digital, 57% of customers believe that their service has deteriorated in 2023, and in the opinion of a quarter of all respondents, it has become significantly worse. Only 4% consider customer service to have become significantly better.
Defining the best customer experience is quite flexible, which is why it's easy to overlook its decline. When it comes to customer experience, the most crucial factor is the attitude towards the customer. Specifically, a business should strive to make customers exert "zero effort" to resolve any issues. For instance, if customers perceive that your customer support complicates their experience, that's a failure. Therefore, the primary goal is to provide the best and most tailored support for each individual.
“One of the illustrative examples of customer centricity is the customer support of Monobank, which can definitely be named a customer centric organization. In the era of total automation, customers increasingly desire interactions with real people in customer support who can genuinely help them understand and resolve their issues. The "live" customer support of Monobank, available 24/7, caters to this need effectively”. Pavlo Kapelyushnyi, Head of Customer Success Department
According to Google Trends, in the period leading up to the pandemic, search queries related to "customer experience" exhibited a tendency to increase, reaching a peak in mid-February 2020. During the pandemic, interest in this topic briefly declined but then started to rise again.
Today, customer centricity means not only providing the best customer service and experience but also promptly and flexibly adapting to current realities. Sometimes, communication levels need to be reduced in certain areas, strengthened in others, and made more personalized in some cases, depending on what's happening in the information field.
Constantly refining and enhancing your customer experience is essential. If you neglect this aspect, you are destined to lose. General trends and broad surveys don't provide insight into individual companies. Perhaps ongoing customer experience improvement remains a priority for your company. However, if top management has shifted focus to new, more appealing tasks, that becomes a problem.
For all online businesses, customer-centric approach is built upon well-established processes and user-friendly UX. Typically, meeting customer expectations doesn't require anything extraordinary, especially for B2C businesses.
Hence, a high-quality website UX is critically important—product pages should address the maximum number of user questions. Firstly, such an approach significantly saves managers' time in answering queries. Secondly, comprehensive information greatly influences decision-making speed.
Real photos, clear product information, easy-to-understand language, availability, shipping terms, addresses, phone numbers, and more—the content of the page should be based on the most common "live" customer queries and updated to cater to emerging needs. The relevance of information on your website will help you succeed—data should be updated in real-time, both on the webpage and in advertising campaigns.
What can be done to make customers understand that you are thinking about them?
Customer centricity is not at all about prioritizing customer needs over business needs. On the contrary, only well-structured business processes and meticulous automation allow a business to be truly customer-centric while simultaneously optimizing its resources.
“Developing a customer centric strategy, we recommend responding to all customer feedback, but giving priority to negative ones. They serve as a litmus test, quickly revealing weak points and allowing resources to be directed toward strengthening them. If the complaints are related to your product itself, engage customers in personal communication to establish an emotional connection and offer bonuses. If there's willingness and the person on the other side is reasonable, any conflict with a customer can be resolved. Remember, automation, synchronization, and process building are complex projects involving many individuals. However, in my opinion, completing these tasks is the right path to ensuring your customers are loyal and keep coming back to you time and again”. Valerie Lavska, CMO at Promodo
“Companies must understand that customer centricity model can no longer be entirely scripted. Alongside scripts, there should be a prompt and relevant response to unfolding events. Circumstances are constantly changing, and businesses must consistently monitor active loyalty tools and customer communication methods to promptly halt or reshape them as needed”. Pavlo Kapelyushnyi, Head of Customer Success Department
According to the article's author, companies that effectively implement artificial intelligence support will lead in customer service. This refers to the next generation of chatbots, which are gradually emerging (for instance, based on ChatGPT). These bots will continuously learn from all available chats, calls, and emails recorded over time and still incoming. These bots will know more than most people, they'll be patient, and they can be scaled to address various customer requests.
However, according to Pavlo Kapelyushnyi, building a scripted customer centric service using AI will have a negative impact on performance indicators.
“One of the crucial factors of customer centric culture is understanding the user's issue or request and promptly providing a relevant response in the most contextually appropriate manner. While AI can help users acquire more information instantly, it might not create a strong connection to the brand. Furthermore, AI can only handle templated queries. If a query deviates from the template, the customer might be stuck in a loop until they match the required template. This process takes time, making it impossible to solely build user centricity on AI”. Pavlo Kapelyushnyi, Head of Customer Success Department
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