Five of the Most Common Customer-Centric Developments in UK Business
Author: Igor Nikolic
‘Customer-centricity is quickly becoming a key brand differentiator within the UK, and as business continues to evolve, companies with a product-centric model will be outmanoeuvred rather quickly.’ – Neil Skehel, Chairman, Customer Experience Magazine
As one of hottest topics amongst business professionals, customer-centricity is rapidly becoming a number one priority for both global and UK companies. Customers are becoming more aware of outdated marketing techniques and are demanding a more genuine approach from their favourite brands.
According to recent data from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index, 60% of UK consumers would NOT accept low service levels in exchange for a lower priced product.
It has become clear that customer-centricity is the new norm in competitive organisations, and as this area of development continues to expand, it is important to understand the most common strategies that UK companies are implementing in order to tackle these demands.
1. Internal Customer-centric Processes
To truly become customer oriented, businesses have to implement internal processes that help guide any customer-centric developments they may pursue. As one of the key differentiators between customer-centricity and product-centricity, passion must be the key motivator and the driving force behind any development.
So it only makes sense that one of the most common customer-centric developments is the internal development of company culture and attitude towards the customer. Brands that are truly committed to customer-centricity stand 100 percent behind the idea that the customer comes first. They understand that without full customer support, they cannot succeed, and thus do all they can to make every aspect of their business work for the customer.
Customer-centric brands also focus solely on the customer when coming up with new product ideas and company development. Instead of pushing a product THEY want to sell, they promote the product their customers want them to sell.
Further Reading: http://applications.teradata.com/DDM-Survey/welcome/.ashx
As quite a noticeable development in recent years, marketing individualisation is quickly becoming a go-to strategy for many UK companies. Mass-marketing is becoming less efficient as consumers demand a tailored experience.
Teradata, a provider of database-related products and services, conducted a survey in 2015 where 90 percent of marketers asked stated that customer individualization is a priority because it provides a greater chance of a positive customer response.
Individualisation is also one of the stronger customer-centric strategies since it allows for the development of stronger bonds with the customer, leading to better customer loyalty.
It also isn't as complicated as it used to be thanks to social media and the rise of e-portals and online profiles that allow for the tracking of customer behaviour. Companies such as Baxi have implemented this well, with projects such as ‘Baxi Works’ that allowed for the implementation of loyalty schemes on their new website and personalised content.
You can read more about Baxi’s developments, as well as the developments of other customer-centric companies in the newest UK Business Awards download.
3. Being Serious About Customer Input
It's quite difficult to be customer-centric if you don't know what your customers want. So it only makes sense that a serious attitude towards customer surveys and input is standard amongst competitive businesses.
Customer surveys have been around for a while, and it may seem like customer input hasn't evolved much over the years, but that couldn't be more wrong. Customer feedback stands at the pinnacle of all customer-centric development and with better technologies available, companies are always scouring their social media profiles and emails to get a clearer picture of what's going on.
Customer input has changed from the annual survey or two to a constant feed of comments and reviews that customer-centric companies take very seriously. Instant customer engagement also promotes customer loyalty which increases the chances of customer recommendations.
4. Employee Engagement
Establishing strong customer-centric attitudes can only be achieved if all employees feel engaged and eager to meet customer expectations. All serious companies work hard to develop customer-centric ideas which they implement through investment in the employee.
In-house training and attitude development are critical. By making your employees a major factor in the execution of customer-centric processes, you can ensure that your organisation is customer-centric throughout, especially in customer-facing areas.
Companies such as Barclays Bank have taken the initiative to not only develop customer-centric systems and processes but have also worked hard to support the employee and provide necessary training to help drive the initiative forward post implementation.
Barclays Bank, in particular, has displayed a truly customer-centric initiative at the UK Business Awards 2016, and their developments are fully explored in the new download.
One of the biggest trends in regards to customer-centricity is better accessibility and openness. Brands are much more connected with their customers now, and this allows for better awareness of customer issues and customer-centric product development.
Customers also expect openness, while carefully analysing every aspect of the brand. They want to see how the company feels about their product if they are passionate, honest, open, and genuinely concerned about customer issues.
Customer-centricity is thus an all-encompassing business model that continues to evolve as customers become a bigger part of each brand. Most companies now see their customers as key stakeholders and participants in all areas of business, while gladly incorporating changes that only improve the lives of the customer, for the sake of loyalty and reputation.
More about Customer-Centric Developments in the UK
All of these developments are further explored in the latest UK Business Awards report. You can read more about Barclays’ Bank’s initiative and Baxi’s initiative, as well as the customer-centric initiatives of Virgin Money and Hotcha.
These companies are great examples of how customer-centric processes can be implemented and leveraged in the UK.
Download your FREE COPY of the report ‘Customer-Centric Developments in UK Business’ HERE!