The terms “customer-centric” and “customer-centricity” get thrown around a lot; oftentimes, it’s quite clear that they’re being used out of turn. I believe “customer-centric” is often confused with “customer focus,” and the two are very different.
Back in late 2015, I wrote an article titled Work Harder or Smarter? in which I offered up some ways to help employees work more efficiently – ultimately, to work smarter. The last item on the list was automation. Fast forward five plus years, and automation is likely at the top of the list now for a lot of companies! But for many, the term “automation” brings chills, with visions of job losses and customer frustration.
Here’s an uncomfortable – yet indisputable – truth: you are in business to create and to nurture customers. Without customers – and especially without employees to create your products and to serve your customers – you have no business. Regardless of company size, region, industry, etc., you are in business for the customer, because of the customer.
Ultimately, “create and nurture customers” must come down to helping customers solve their problems, complete the jobs they are trying to do, and achieve the outcomes they desire by using your products or services.
You know your customers are satisfied because the customer satisfaction (CSAT) score that you see on your daily dashboard tells you as much. The score is solid. But you aren’t satisfied; you believe it could be so much better. And rightly so – it usually can be. So, what’s a company to do to earn even better CSAT scores?
I’ll keep today’s post simple – and fun. Bob Farrell, founder of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlors, shared the secret to a great customer experience in 1973 (yes, almost 50 years ago!!), when he developed a motivational speech for new employees called Give ’em the Pickle!, based on a letter he received from a disappointed customer.