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  • Andrea Arañador-Ferri

THREE REASONS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A CUSTOMER-CENTRIC BUSINESS.

Being customer-centric means more than just having a 24/7 customer service hotline or posting “the customer is always right” slogans. Though a lot of companies claim of adopting a “customer first” approach, in many cases, the focus on customers is actually just an afterthought.

But why is it critical to ensure that the costumer is at the core and center of everything that you do as a business or company? Let’s discuss three important benefits –

#1. You will sell your product.

I have seen a lot of businesses that create a product – some spending even years to perfect it – however, upon market launch, it fails. Reasons include poor customer feedback or the absence of product-market fit. In short, customers are not buying it.

Why would they when they see no value in the product? Even if the product is pushed to be sold in their faces but there is no room for it in their lives – why would they buy?

However, when a product is engineered around solving a real customer pain point and customer realities are at the core of product development, then success is inevitable.

James Dyson was once annoyed with standard vacuums – he hated having to constantly buy and change bags and the difficulty of steering it. Realizing that many others felt the same way, he was obsessed in designing the perfect vacuum that would solve the difficulties of these real users. The bagless vacuum with a swivel-ball joint that would easily clean around corners and furniture was Dyson’s answer to making what was once a hated vacuum experience into a more comfortable and pleasant one.

And as we all know, customers are buying Dyson vacuum cleaners at 400 EUR because it is a product that they need and find relevant in their lives.

#2. You will delight and win customers.

IKEA’s actions hinge on its vision to “create a better everyday life for its customers” – from its product offerings, having a restaurant in every store, easy online shopping experience to having the option to “do-it-yourself” or having your furniture delivered and setup in a country like Singapore. Having this customer-centric approach at the core of everything that they do has been winning IKEA customers wherever they are.

The IKEA experience differs depending on which country you are in – in Germany for example, where people would usually drive, IKEA stores are usually outside of the city center. However, in a country like Malaysia, where locals would usually spend their free time at the mall and may not necessarily have their own cars, IKEA adapts to this local reality and would have shops located next to a mall.

Given the pandemic, a lot have been fixing their living and working spaces but have been afraid to visit physical stores. Needing some things for the house, I checked options to buy from IKEA and to my surprise, they offered the “click and collect” option – I just needed to order and after a day or two, I could schedule my pickup from an IKEA shop of my choice. The experience was a five-minute operation to my delight – I parked the car at a designated point, showed my receipt and collected my order.

Needless to say, I have been telling family and friends about this experience who are delighted to know that buying from IKEA amidst the pandemic has become so easy.

#3. Increase loyalty to your brand.

If we look at the list of our favorite brands, those that we really are most loyal to are the ones that we feel prioritize our needs and interests. Whether it is creating products that best solve our problems, offering a service that make our days easier, giving us an amazing user experience or providing us with great customer treatment from start to the after-sales.

And we usually stay loyal when we see that our comfort and pleasure as customers, in every step of the way, are the focus of a business or brand.

When you ask customers why they only order from Amazon and a popular answer is that the platform has the best customer experience – in terms of offering everything that one needs, delivering them on time, making it easy to process returns and no questions asked, refunds are given when issues arise. A lot would see no reason to switch or even just try another platform.

Amazon’s focus on customer satisfaction is rooted on the company’s mission when it launched in 1995 “to be earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online…”

We can see how every action of the brand is focused on pleasing the customer – like Amazon Prime which offers paid subscribers free fast-shipping costs. And this customer-centric approach has gained customer loyalty, with millions of Amazon Prime members globally who apparently spend twice more than non-members.

Given the clutter in today’s marketplace, now more than ever, it has become critical for a brand or business to consistently delight their customers. It may take time and require some investment, however, it is necessary to survive and thrive in a cut-throat environment. The reason why the likes of Amazon, Dyson and IKEA are successful is because they remain customer-centric at the core of their business.



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THEKRE8TIV BRAND STUDIO is a full-service agency that helps build your brand and accelerate the growth of your business. Our team has done costumer-focused work for different global and local companies. Reach out to us if you want to know more.


Aside from leading THEKRE8TIV, Andrea also instigates the #brandovercoffee conversations on Spotify, iTunes and Instagram where she discusses different brand and business topics. Follow her at @andreaa.ferri for more details.

 
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