With everything going on over the last three years, you may have missed it—but the “digital customer experience” is now basically the entire customer experience. And that’s catching some companies off guard.
After all, not every online experience was designed with the customer in mind—many were built primarily to serve the business. Back when companies first started digitizing their business, the available tech and bandwidth made it a simple choice: have an excellent product, have excellent operations, or be all about the customer. Pick two.
And now, companies that emphasized their systems and procedures at the cost of the customer experience are having a tough time. They’ve run smack into the Era of Insane Choice.
Today, customers are saturated with choice. Let down or frustrated by a company’s website? There are three competitors ready to meet your expectations, only a click away. We’re at the point where prioritizing the customer experience is no longer optional. If you want to stand out in a homogenous sea of digital competition, you absolutely must cultivate a differentiating customer experience. It’s “impress or get left behind.”
This is where the tenet of customer centricity makes the difference.
Well, what does “customer centricity” really mean?
Simply put: when companies are end-to-end focused around the customer—that’s customer centricity. It’s not just a state to achieve—it’s an organizational mindset where each aspect of the company, everything from hiring decisions to processes to UX, is geared around contributing to the best possible customer experience.
It sounds simple enough, but it requires a deep understanding of customer expectations, perceptions, needs, and challenges.
What does it look like when there’s a customer-centric model in place?
When it’s working—customer centricity results in a streamlined, easy, dare-we-say enjoyable digital experience for the customer. It’s as if the business is reading their mind, offering them the exact help they need, precisely when they need it, with no unnecessary clutter to confuse or distract them. When all of the gears of a customer-centric business are in sync, the buying journey is seamless. There are no clunky barriers inhibiting their stages of curiosity, learning and decision-making. There’s the shortest possible distance between the customer and the information they want, with a few added delights along the way.
What about when there isn’t customer centricity?
One word: friction.
That can manifest as uncertainty, frustration or added work for the customer. Ultimately, friction in customer experience will end up evoking negative emotion. That feeling gets encoded in memory and associated with that brand or website. When there’s so much competition out there vying for the same clients, friction is a stumble that can turn into a death knell.
So why would any company not head straight towards a customer centricity model? Well, it may sound obvious to keep the customer experience at the center of decision-making, but actually doing it isn’t always easy.
What are some obstacles that get in the way of customer centricity?
The alternative can be tempting
Sometimes you have to say “no” to choices that would be convenient for the business. It’s common for people within a business to encounter moments where being customer-centric requires a heck of a lot more effort than the alternative.
What can you do? The simple answer is “stay the course.” But it’s not always that easy. The thing is: customer centricity tends to generate genuine moments of client rapport or happiness. Capturing and sharing those moments freely throughout your organization can help keep everyone aligned towards the greater goal.
It takes a whole team
If enough people throughout the organization choose the more convenient path, the model deteriorates.
What can you do? It’s so important that customer centricity is championed at the highest level throughout the entire company. If it isn’t, it may be worth taking steps to educate leadership on exactly how important customer centricity is now.
Pivoting can be a challenge
If your company wasn’t built to be customer-centric, a course change of this degree can put strain on existing systems.
What can you do? Keep a slow and steady progression towards change, taking a piecemeal approach where possible. As long as you’re consistently heading the right direction, you don’t need to get there overnight.
Legacy technology can make a hard thing harder
Generic systems that aren’t made with customer centricity in mind can weigh down efforts.
What can you do? Consider evaluating software that’s designed for delivering brand new, standout experiences. Glance’s Guided CX software offers a very real opportunity to breakout of convention and delight your customers—plus, it integrates seamlessly with CRM, agent desktop, or contact center tech.
On a closing note
Summed up: It’s time to pay serious attention to customer centricity as a central pillar of business operations. And that game-changing Guided CX software we mentioned?
It can help you create a wonderfully helpful, wonderfully new experience for your customers. We’d love to show you what we mean.
Book a non-pushy 15-minute demo here.
Prefer to read more first? Check out our Solutions to read up on what makes our Guided Customer Experiences so different.