A customer. A product or service. A full team of employees. A dash of marketing strategy.
Those are some key ingredients you need to run a successful business, this is true. But doesn’t it feel like something is missing? Like you cannot complete the recipe? Or as though this is just a basic recipe without that extra ingredient that turns it into a magic potion of sorts?
If you feel that way, you have a good eye for what it takes to grow your business. There is something missing. What is it?
It’s customer-centric marketing. That customer-centric culture of customer service. We know: it seems pretty obvious that you need to be customer-centric when it comes to customer service. The proof is in the pudding; “customer” is the name of the game.
But with so much else on their plates, a lot of business owners and marketers forget about something very important. They forget that customer-centric marketing is the boost that brings their organization back to good health.
If they never focused on it to begin with, they do not realize that it is that missing puzzle piece to blow their competition out of the water. In other words, it could be the missing ingredient that turns their average recipe into their business’s magic potion.
What Does it Mean When You Say Customer-Centric?
Maybe you fall into that latter category. You know, the one that never even realized there was something missing in their marketing efforts.
It is okay if that’s the case. We all have to start somewhere, and we get that. Once you finish reading this, though, you will not be able to believe you waited to take advantage of customer-centric marketing.
But before you get to that point, let’s go over the fundamentals.
When we say “customer-centric,” we mean that you place your customer and the customer experience at the heart of everything. Everything. They come first.
It seems easy at first glance, right?
Well, yes and no. While customer-centricity may not be rocket science, it takes a lot of readjusting. It is not just a matter of thinking about them while you check your emails throughout the day, or saying “I love my customers!” when prompted.
First, you have to know everything about your customer. You need to understand it all to be proactive in providing for what they want and what they need. How do they like to communicate? Are the experiences you have for them meaningful and personalized? Do you have a history of retaining customers and building relationships with them?
What about those organizations which have mastered the art of customer-centricity? Those are the ones that build a culture around it. Their team is all on the same page and everyone works together for the benefit of the customer. In turn, they make the right choices for the overarching success of the business.
So when we say “customer-centric,” think of it as a mix of both strategy and culture.
What is Customer-Centric Marketing?
Now we come to that secret ingredient we have been talking so much about customer-centric marketing. You know what customer centricity is, but why would it affect your marketing strategy as a whole? What about your product marketing or content marketing specifically? After all, isn’t the customer the basis of marketing to begin with?
Sure it is. But customer-centric marketing takes you past those basic levels. You have to get to know the sides of your customers that make them one-of-a-kind. It is shaping your marketing activities with customer engagement in mind. Or, in other words, shaping them to add value to the customer journey.
Let’s break it down to an even simpler level.
Customer-centric marketing is when you or your marketing department emphasizes positive customer experiences. It should happen throughout each stage of the buyer journey, from discovery to customer retention efforts. In the eyes of the customer, this type of marketing sets you apart from rivals in your industry.
Why is Customer-Centric Marketing Important for Your Business?
You may believe that your marketing department has a stronghold on everything relevant to marketing. It’s their job to know what works and what doesn’t, right?
That’s correct. But if you are not taking advantage of customer-centric marketing, there is still something that you (and your team!) are missing.
Customer-centric marketing is important, as you need it to keep up with the modern market. There has been a pool of customers who are new to you for as long as you can remember. You have targeted them countless times. Yet in today’s day and age, this pool is drying up.
Digital marketing efforts have met them since the advent of the Internet. They find themselves shopping online already with other brands. Your industry competitors (including you!) keep trying to grab new customers instead of focusing on your existing ones, your loyal ones.
We have said it before, and we will say it again. Going after new customers costs up to five times more than retaining your current customers. Your profits can level up 25 to 95 percent when you boost your customer retention by a mere 5 percent.
And you can retain them through customer-centric marketing. That is how you sustain loyal customers on your end.
What is the Impact of Customer-Centric Marketing?
Customer centricity in and of itself has a hefty impact on your marketing.
We have to start at the beginning, as usual. First of all, the way you market to your customers is often the first point of contact they have with your brand. This is what takes them to the next step, which is chatting with a sales rep or checking out your website. So how do they perceive your company from your initial marketing efforts?
With customer-centric marketing, your team has an impact on the message you send to prospects and customers. This is the face value of your brand image. Also, they interact with your customer-centric marketers before anyone else. This means they feel as though you put them first and make them want to keep coming back for more.
You also get to account for the customer throughout the total sales process. It is more than an up-front chat with a new customer that your marketers abandon after they hook the customer in.
Plus, customer-centric marketing impacts sales. You take data and customer feedback and apply it to buying behaviors. It allows for more precision with customizing their sales experience, leading to more sales from them over a longer period.
Last of all, this sort of marketing builds up a culture of communication among your staff. They all have to work together to deliver for their customers, so they learn how to communicate well both now and in the future.
Key Tips for Winning at Customer-Centric Marketing
You want this added value for your own business, we get it. This is why we put together a list for you so that you can perfect customer-centric marketing.
You may be searching for a fresh take on your email marketing or social media marketing posts. But follow these six key tips for your whole marketing process and you will find yourself with a stockpile of solutions for ages to come.
1. Know Your Customers Like the Back of Your Hand
Of course, we have to hit you with the most crucial tip before we get into the rest. As the name implies, customer-centric marketing means you have to first and foremost focus on your – you guessed it – customers. They are the ticket to get you into the big leagues.
First, listen to them. We do not mean to simply hear them. We mean to actively listen to what they say, what they do not say and what they need more than anything else. Customer surveys are a great place to start, but you need to go deeper.
Those traditional solutions, like surveys, give you some form of an answer for sure. They answer the “what” of what they are thinking. But not the “why.” So ask your customers what’s on their minds and why. Then come up with a solution from that information.
Also, get to know what your customers expect of you throughout their journey. Then, measure your current efforts to see if you are meeting those expectations. If not, fix it. You can find a lot of this information through their data, or past information on digital transactions.
Once you have the details on their expectations, base your customer experience strategy on it. Take those broader customer expectations from your wide-scale brand strategy. Then come up with the steps you can take to surpass the expectations. That’s how you put it into action.
2. Use Your Customer Journey Map
Though the above section is of the utmost importance, using your customer journey map is too.
To create your own, first conduct research. Take into account (objectively!) their perspective of your business. Then, you put yourself in their place. Walk along with them for their interactions with your brand. See how you and your team address their needs and help them reach their goals for every step. Where can you improve your efforts to help them along the way?
3. Involve Your Customers
Everyone’s opinion matters, but it is nice to feel as though someone who you buy from thinks that your opinion matters in particular.
So involve your customers. Do so as you design new products or services, make changes to your site or other materials, and more.
Your target audience knows what they want. Why not consult with them before you make the changes that will impact them? When you involve your customers in major decisions or changes and design processes, you get valuable information right from the source that matters most.
4. Collect and Analyze Customer Data
Data silos are not your friend. They never have been, they are not right now and they never will be.
Integrate your customer data! Everyone in every department should have quick and easy access to it. It does not matter if your marketing department is looking at sales data or vice versa. Scratch that; it does matter. That is what you want.
Then, you have a team who gets an in-depth look at your customers so they can cater to them throughout the entire funnel.
5. Always Collect Feedback
Remember what we said earlier? You have to listen to your customers. You have to give them an outlet to plug their feedback into. Then, you have to keep track of and analyze said feedback.
Like we said, there are of course surveys. But there are different types of surveys, there are inquiries from your call lines, there are web reviews. You have social media accounts to monitor, internal and external site comments to check out, and help desk tickets to consider.
Are you meeting your KPIs on all fronts?
6. Motivate Your Team
Your customers are valuable but do not forget about your team. They see the day-to-day life of your customers. They also see the day-to-day operations of your business. In fact, they have some of the most valuable input around.
Get their input, but also be sure to reward and motivate your employees. And we don’t mean just in regards to meeting sales goals. Give them an incentive to meet customer goals, too.
Secret ingredients. A healthy business. The boost you need. Proactivity. Overarching success. Higher retention rates. One-of-a-kind.
These are all phrases that you came across today. And we know they piqued your interest; not just for the sake of customer-centric marketing, but as something you want for your own business. And here at Selling Revolution, we are ready to deliver all of that and more for you.
We build selling systems for home services companies. We have the secret sauce to bring you profitable growth and success. We have the remedies to make your business a healthy one. We can boost the number of your quality leads. We have proactive solutions for your sales training techniques. We know how to recruit and retain top talent on your behalf.
And more than that, we know how to tailor-fit any of our selling solutions to your one-of-a-kind business.
With 40 years of experience in growing thousands of small businesses, our team is here for you. And we are not going anywhere, but we know that your competition isn’t either.
So it’s time to establish yourself at the frontlines of your industry. All you have to do is click here to book a call with Selling Revolution today.