It means a lot of things; some definitions can be long and drawn-out, while others more succinct. But one thing is for certain: customers must be central to your business; as without them it will quickly disappear.
Being customer-centric is often confused with being customer-focused – but, the reality is, there’s a big difference. Put simply, being customer-centric means looking at a customer’s lifetime value, to answer the question: “what more can our customers give us?” whereas being customer-focused seeks to identify; “what more can we give them?”
The realisation that there is no such thing as ‘the average customer’ is something none of us really want to accept, because let’s face it; we love to pigeon-hole! In a customer-centric world however, it’s all about viewing your customers as individuals, to truly understand the nature of their relationship with your brand.
So what if I’m already doing that? What if I’ve already wised up to the fact that customers like to be treated as individuals, and not a generalised demographic? Does that make me completely customer-centric?
The key to customer-centricity comes in prioritising your customers in terms of their loyalty.
Okay… So who should I focus on?
The Good (20%), The Great (10%), and The downright ‘Meh’ (70%) Customer-Loyal Breakdown:
Typically, 70% of your customers will exhibit a low lifetime value; merely riding the wave until a better brand or product comes their way. Although the temptation to work on increasing the loyalty of this larger segment may seem the most appetising approach to take, indulging too much in the larger slice of pie is often more expensive than it’s worth! (Not to mention it goes straight to your hips!!!)
Instead, customer-centric brands learn to enjoy the tantalising taste of their smaller slices, by focusing their attention on growing their ‘good’ customers into ‘greats’ and respecting their ‘greats’ enough so that they will stick with them indefinitely.
Customer-centricity therefore is about recognising that creating the next big thing isn’t as important as acquiring the next lifelong customer – reaping the rewards of quality over quantity.
“I’d rather use the power of a few trustworthy and reliable friends to keep me afloat, than drown in a sea of acquaintances”