Learnings from strong and weak sectors
“Problems in the area of customer centricity are often obvious, but you need to bear them in mind,” say Professors Jan-Erik Baars and Dominik Georgi from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. In an interview, these two experts in the field of customer centricity outline what can be learnt from strong and weak sectors. The founders and managing partners of the Custopia platform talk about emotionality, top-down strategies, and what can be expected in the future when it comes to customer centricity.
Custopia has already surveyed major brands from a variety of sectors, but how is customer centricity actually measured on the platform?
Custopia enables you to measure customer centricity from an internal as well as an external perspective, thereby providing a 360 degree view. The Customer Centricity Score uses 15 criteria to record how a company’s employees rate its customer centricity in the dimensions of leadership/culture, processes, and implementation. The Customer Impact Score reveals how customers themselves assess the level of customer centricity, this time using 15 criteria in the areas of functionality, individuality, and emotionality.
Are there any patterns emerging from previous surveys?
What’s crucial when it comes to customer centricity is that it should be anchored in corporate leadership. If customer centricity is prioritized top-down, it can also be implemented across the board. Companies that create a customer-centered culture enable a better customer experience and improve customer loyalty.
What strengths characterize sectors that are identified as customer-centric?
Customer-centered management within the organization ensures there’s a holistic emphasis on your customers when it comes to functionality and individuality, but above all emotionality too. Customers notice whether the company is thinking about them or whether it’s primarily focused on itself and only offers products and services in the market as a matter of principle. Customers want to be taken seriously and have emotionally charged experiences, so the key success factor consists in including the customer perspective in all of the company’s processes.
What weaknesses have often been identified in sectors with low customer centricity?
Weaker sectors underperform if they appear to be lacking emotionality. Aspects such as authenticity, enthusiasm and engagement leave something to be desired, not least of all because everything is excessively geared towards functionality. But customers aren’t buying functions: they’re buying an experience!
How can companies from weak sectors improve their customer centricity?
Companies can become aware of areas where they need to make progress in relation to customer centricity. The problems are often obvious, but they’ve become all too familiar and no one dares to tackle them. If the company examines those areas where customer centricity could be improved – ideally via concerted action that encompasses every division and level within the company – this can unleash a positive dynamic throughout the organization.
How are customer centricity and corporate success connected?
Customer centricity is the starting point in the customer success chain. Enthusiastic customers stay longer, use more services, have a higher share of wallet (spend proportionately more money on specific products or services) and are likelier to recommend the company. At the same time, customer centricity can make operations more cost-effective: customer-centric companies don’t waste money on doing things that their customers don’t appreciate, so in this way it’s also possible to increase customer value and thus profit too.
What trends in relation to customer centricity can we expect in the years to come?
Customer centricity still needs to be addressed in many sectors, but in some of them we’ll see how innovative providers are able to vigorously shake things up. At the same time, established companies that face up to the challenge and consistently make changes to promote customer centricity will emerge even stronger from this phase.