Customer-Centric Or Simply Responsive To Customers?

By David Gee, Staffing Talking

When people ask about what makes your staffing company different – or great – how do you answer it? Because you put customers first? What does that mean exactly? And is there a difference between responding to the needs of your customers and being truly customer-centric?
Customer Centric Or Simply Responsive To Customers?

Ashleigh Bilodeaux, is director of marketing at Huddle, an enterprise cloud-based content collaboration company based in London. His company won a global marketing award from Oracle, and he tells Forbes in this post what he thinks the definition of customer centricity is.

“Customer-centricity means that all the disciplines in the company act deliberately with the customer in mind—from the buying process, marketing messages, product design, and website to the support they provide,” states Bilodeaux. ”Although it is critical to respond to the needs of your target audiences once they have been addressed and to solve existing challenges, it is even more beneficial to proactively address them before a customer alerts you that changes need to be made. We believe that this is a constantly evolving process.” 

Today’s customers are in control as never before, and they give their business – and repeat  business – to companies who prove they care.

“Customer-centricity means that all the disciplines in the company act deliberately with the customer in mind.”

Hanna Johnson is the Marketing Manager for Get Satisfaction. She lists in this blog post the qualities she thinks every customer-centric company possesses:

1) Accessible: Customer-centric organizations make it easy for customers to connect with them, wherever, whenever they want to.

2) Responsive: we live in a 24/7 always connected world and your customers expect a quick response from you, no matter which channel they reach out to you with.

3) Empathetic: The need for speed in terms of responding to customers is somewhat mitigated or lessened if you respond with empathy. Think of the times you have dealt with someone at an airline check in counter, or a retail store, with a vendor or what have you, who didn’t concentrate on defending themselves or their company or proving they are right in an argument, but instead made you feel as if they knew exactly what you were talking about and wanted to fix the problem. It makes a huge difference when it comes to how people perceive you and your company.

4) Cohesive: Remember that earlier quote about all the disciplines in the company acting deliberately with the customer in mind? That’s a critical piece of customer centricity, because it’s hard to provide fast, responsive customer service if you have a bunch of silos and turf wars and disconnection among the various departments of your company.

5) Nimble: Customer success teams should have the necessary resources to proactively identify and quickly resolve any issues that arise. This requires making customer-centricity a strong strategic priority, from your company’s leaders and owners on down to the front lines.

Unless you serve a niche or specialized area, it’s likely every one of your customers has lots of staffing options. Companies that want to become more customer-centric need to do everything they can to improve the customer experience at every level.

Great customer service isn’t just the right thing to do though, it’s also good for business. Customer retention and revenues are significantly higher for companies that are customer-centric than those who aren’t.

So get to know your customers better and engage them more fully. There is a payoff for doing so.