Customers are ultimately the most important part of any business because, without customers, you can’t have a business. It doesn’t matter if you’re company is B2C, B2B or D2C, having a detailed understanding of your customer and their needs is one of the secrets to success. Taking a customer-centric approach means putting your customers’ needs and experiences at the forefront of your business and marketing strategies.
It is no surprise that companies are adopting customer-centric marketing strategies. Customer experience is the most influential factor for generating customer loyalty, outperforming both brand and price combined (Gartner). Likewise, over 70% of customers believe customer experience is a highly influential factor in their purchasing decision (PwC). In fact, 32% would stop doing business with a brand after one bad experience, even if they loved the brand (PwC). It’s pretty impressive how powerful customer experiences are, so how can you make sure you’re doing customer-centric strategy right?
How to achieve a customer-centric strategy
There is a multitude of different approaches you can take to create a customer-centric strategy. Our personal favourite is using a combination of tailored workshops backed up by extensive market research. We work closely with clients in interactive workshops to produce customer personas and create customer journey maps. Customer journey mapping is a powerful tool that helps you understand how your brand, product, or service fits into the lives of your customers. It increases not only your customer experience but can also boost customer loyalty (Dimension Data).
We also conduct comprehensive market research through surveys and real customer interviews to make sure all creative work is always founded in real-world data. All these combined gives you a deeper and more accurate insight into your customers, allowing for your business to truly cater for your customers’ needs and making your brand valuable.
Then along came Covid
So, you might be thinking “yeah but I’ve already done this before, I don’t need to do it again”. Enter the Covid-19 pandemic and a dramatic unpredictable shift in customer experiences globally. Over the past two years, the whole world has gone through major changes, and so have your customers. Customer personas and journeys have changed radically in response to new ways of working, living, and consuming.
To stay relevant and to keep being valuable to your customer, these personas need to be re-evaluated and journeys need to be re-mapped to ensure you and your business are answering your customers’ ever-evolving needs. Customer journeys have grown more complex, straddling the digital and physical world simultaneously whilst the number of touchpoints continues to grow. Modern customers expect hyper-targeted content, and their awareness of marketing is growing. Today’s customers expect all brands to level up, and they’ll expect you to keep up with their changing consumer habits.
For your business to stay relevant, you’ll need to transform your understanding of your customer to match this new post-covid world. Re-doing your personas and journey maps might feel like a laborious task, but trust us, using a customer-centric approach is the modern marketing world’s key to success, and it is worth the effort in the long run.
Written by Salla Hyttinen, Strategic Consultant
Photo: Pixels / Karolina Grabowska