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Customer Centricity In Building Brand Choice
Businesses should make product decisions with the customer in mind, try to know them on a granular level and aim for a long-term relationship
Photo Credit : chainstoreage.com
Customer centricity is an approach that goes much beyond customer service, and brands need to integrate this into every channel and business area for maximum focus on the end-users of their products and/ or services. Customer centricity helps businesses understand what customers like and dislike, and tailor products and services accordingly. This then works towards building brand loyalty among consumers.
There is a need for organisations to shift from a traditional and product-driven business approach toward customer centricity because in today's era, keeping customers' preferences on top and catering to their needs will help businesses stay ahead of the competition. Companies that support and focus on customers will also benefit when it comes to sales.
Why customer centricity?
One of the most important goals for businesses is to retain customers, and that can be possible only if the customers are happy and satisfied with the brand’s offerings. In addition, generating leads and referrals from current customers is easier if they are happy with the business, and this can help brands acquire new customers at lesser costs. It further helps increase the customer's lifetime value, which will benefit the brand in the long term.
As we all know, when it comes to policies and business strategies not every idea is a win-win one. However, customer centricity is one avenue where businesses have been able to make fast sales and profit. By prioritising the needs of the customer, you are satisfying your consumer base and also gaining loyal customers. This puts your business in a more comfortable position while also giving you a competitive edge, especially over companies that don’t have the same approach at the core of their framework.
Customer centricity helps provide much-needed competition in the market. Once a company starts identifying its customer’s needs and concerns, they go on to develop upgraded versions of its services and products. This in turn pushes other companies from the same industry to try and match the advanced product. This creates a domino effect as now rival companies have to engage with their respective consumer bases to see how they respond to their products. Thus, making businesses focus on customer centricity.
Customer-centric firms are the ones which are led by customer-centric leaders, as it all starts from the top. Brands must have a customer-focused leadership wherein the top management gets involved in all decisions related to customers; they should focus on personalisation to offer utmost convenience to every customer. Leaders should also initiate a digital transformation and proactively use data; most importantly, the ones that can help businesses innovate and pivot. In addition, an overall customer-centric culture needs to be set in place for all the people who are a part of an organisation to be focused on meeting the customers' needs and making customers their top priority.
Along with all of these, most importantly, brands should adopt an outside-in approach instead of the inside-out approach. The outside-in approach is where the brands would first get to know what customers' needs are and then the decision-making would take place at the different levels in the organisation.
Businesses should make product decisions with the customer in mind, try to know the customers on a granular level and engage with them even after sales are made, and get into a long-term relationship with the customers.
Brands that understand and respond to changes in customers' lives or business situations will increase satisfaction and value. When customers have a change in their situation such as moving home or growing a business, their needs heighten. Businesses that can support them in the change will be seen as valued partners in life or business. Those that don't might face difficulties in achieving their goals.
Where textile firms stand
Several textile firms today are setting great examples through various ways of being customer-centric, including sustainability programmes that are beneficial to people as well as the planet. Many firms are trying to understand the specific needs of their consumers through research, and for that many have created research centres. This can guide decision-making for companies with regard to product development, consumer marketing, and retailer assortments.
Putting customers at the core of all activities can further help textile companies in coming up with exclusive, innovative merchandising ideas at different price points in their various capabilities from design to execution. Textile firms are also continuously striving to invest in consumer-driven innovations. For example, Bazaarvoice is one such tool that major companies use to collect and display user-generated content. Another very widely used tool is Google 360 Analytics Suite. In addition, various new tools and innovations are being developed for the sole purpose of navigating customer centricity.
Further, during the pandemic, everything had become digitised, and customers preferred online modes for buying and paying because of the convenience. This pushed textile firms to focus on a digital transformation and made them more agile, able to serve customers better, and increased their value.
Overall, organisations that follow a customer-centric approach are more likely to create better, long-lasting relationships with their customers because they are always working towards delivering what the customer wants and needs by understanding them completely.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.