What Is Customer Centricity and Why Does It Matter?
Listening to the Voice of the Customer
Amidst the exponential growth of social media as a marketing tool and powerful influence to buyers of all demographics, we hear buzzwords like customer experience, customer centricity, and voice of the customer. Where does one end and the other begin?
Creating an exceptional customer experience by building on customer centric principles derived from listening to your customer’s voice is an unending but mutually beneficial process.
As businesses who are partners in our customers’ ultimate happiness, we must listen, learn, and act – then repeat!
In an era when one poor customer experience such as, the story that hit the internet airways: “United breaks guitar” can go “Viral” (in his case to the tune of over 11 million visits and counting!) and cost your business exponentially, it’s the voice of that single customer that must be heard and responded to effectively and timely in order to sustain and grow your business.
Providing great customer service is important, but it is an ‘inside looking out’ process – you have an array of products and services and you have developed a marketing program to aid your on-site staff in supporting those products and services in the best way possible. If they are projecting the desire to assist your prospects and customers, then surely you are perceived as “caring” and as a company people want to do business with. Right?
Wrong – even companies who provide excellent customer service may not be providing the “ultimate customer experience“.
Customer centric businesses at their core understand that to achieve success as an organization, you must first help the customer achieve their individual goals.
The premise of customer centric behavior is that of being on the ‘outside looking in’. Instead of traditional satisfaction surveys that only gauge your customer’s opinion of existing products and services, in order to become customer-centric you must determine what it is your customer needs most and begin to deliver on that.
For example, do your residents actually read that monthly newsletter you place on their door, or would they rather receive a text or email a few days in advance of social events? Is it more important to have a 2000 sq foot fitness center, or would your residents benefit more from using a portion of that space for a viewing theatre? Is space a valuable commodity, or does style and finish-out have a bigger draw?
It is all about the customer’s wants and needs
Once you understand what customers are seeking, you can brainstorm and devise mutually advantageous solutions. Of course, with planning comes the need for implementation, and that takes time and effort. It also requires buy-in at all levels of the organization to the idea that the voice of the customer reigns supreme. Listen or not – it could well be a prime deciding factor in the long-term success of the company.
You can only make yourself more appealing if you know what the customer needs and desires – what they value in a home. The most straightforward way you can accomplish this is to ASK the right questions. But, even if you aren’t asking – your customers are talking! And even if you are not listening, someone is – probably a great number of ‘someones’ – because they are telling everyone they know and thousands they do not via the Internet and social media how they feel about you.
Rather than sitting back and hoping for the best, you need to be proactive. Seek out the voice of your customer! Listen to and focus on the perceptions they have about your products and services. Doing so will enable you to make changes that impact those perceptions for the better, resulting in a positive effect on profitability and long term success.
Responding to customer feedback is vital to your success!
By embracing a customer centric corporate culture, you not only add value to your company but differentiate yourself from competitors who do not offer the same customer experience.
While our focus is on resident retention, “customer service is customer service”. Please visit our resident surveys page for additional tips and information on how to effectively survey your customers and extract that valuable customer feedback which is so vital to your success.