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How Standards-based Organizations Can Amplify Customer-centricity

Call it the "era of the customer" or the "Internet of Me"...just don't mention it as an engagement landscape that companies control. Customers are in the driver's seat now, constantly redefining what experiences they value the most in their buying journey. In such a landscape, the new mandate for brands is to create and develop a flexible and agile customer experience strategy based on customer-centricity.

Brands have been trying to embrace customer-centricity for nearly two decades now. According to a report by the CMO Council, only 14% of marketers acknowledge that customer-centricity is of priority to companies and 11% think that customers would agree with this interpretation.

But why are so many organizations struggling to get it right? The huge volume and variety of customer information and data that exists are overwhelming for many companies. For instance, Standards-based organizations don't have the right technology or system to synthesize the data or segment of their customer profiles. Others have insufficient operational capabilities to target the customers with personalized experiences.

One of the greatest barriers to customer-centricity is the absence of a customer-centric organizational culture. Most organizations have a culture that is product-focused or sales-driven. Customer-centricity is believed to be important only for certain functions like marketing.

Customer Experience Strategy: Start with Building A Customer-Centric Culture

The first step towards creating a customer-centric strategic model is to make sure the Standards-based organization's culture is aligned properly. Here are four actions that should be taken by the business leaders –

Improve Your Culture by Appointing for Customer Orientation

Customer focus means having a plethora of knowledge of your customers’ requirements and deliver them accordingly. From the very first dialogue with the potential employees, Standards Development organizations must make it a clear priority to think about customers and their requirements.

For example, ASTM, a Standards-based organization, worked towards creating a blueprint to connect all ASTM systems in real-time. This initiative is known as Real-Time Data-Exchange (RTDX).

Use Knowledge Base to Improve Both Sides of The Customer Experience Journey

To make more informed decisions, Standards-based organizations can make sure to create a knowledge base or repository for employees. This readily available information would help employees to do their jobs well. This would enable insight teams to do their research more productively, the customer support team can resolve issues faster and marketing can create more intentional and useful content.

For instance, MLBPA worked at a rapid pace to develop and launch the players’ app that serves as a player's digital resource center.

Transform Customer Experience Strategy with A Digital Solution Vision

The opportunity to engage your consumers digitally has never been greater. But so is the expense of failing to meet their expectancies. Several Standards-based organizations have siloed and tactical digital practices that aren't actionable. A modern approach to providing digital solutions to create customer insights from existing and new digital touchpoints can bring transformational changes.

For instance, CSCS, UK-based skills certification scheme organization, created a digital solution to build an intuitive self-managed Online Card Application system for construction workers. They also ensured the system can be accessed both from smartphones via iOS and Android Mobile Apps.

Accelerate Direct Interactions with Customers

Standards-based organizations have to work on creating different ways for their people to interact with customers directly. Because every employee can make a difference in making the customer experience better. Also, they can benefit from associating with the consumers to know more about their successes and pain points. For instance, American vacation rental online marketplace company, Airbnb envision their hosts to be customers, so it creates employee-host interactions by mandating employees to stay in Airbnb rentals.

Like Airbnb, most organizations’ business models possibly don’t have the capacity for direct employee-customer contact. But business leaders can enable interactions by letting employees monitor support calls, observe focus groups, co-creation labs, customer visits, and engage in customer activities like industry conferences or advisory board meetings.

Operationalize Customer Empathy

Empathy, as one of the current buzzwords, sounds good, but very few organizations understand or implement it. Practically, customer empathy is identifying a customer’s emotional need, know the reasons behind that imperative, and respond to it efficiently and properly. According to a report by PwC, only 38% of U.S. customers say the employees they interact with understand their requirements.

To promote empathy as a critical capability, one that ultimately lifts the organizational spirit, business leaders must encourage more. For instance, employees can spend their time observing customers try to understand their wants and needs. Additionally, they can also conduct research about the customers they're helping and create personas for them to know more about how the consumers are using their services. Several companies promote empathy as a tool to identify a customer's requirements.

Customer-centricity is Everything. Get it Right.

The holy grail of customer experience strategy is cohesive customer engagement throughout the buying journey. The efforts here can bring results such as better customer retention and greater cross-sell opportunities. To receive those benefits from customer experience strategy, business leaders need to invest in executive support, proper alignment across various functions, and a comprehensive strategy. However, the benefits can be ground-breaking when your organization can take effective action with better insight and respond to market opportunities with greater agility.

Connect here to start your journey towards improving customer-centricity in 2021 and beyond.

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