This year, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% in 2013. Part of the reason is that today you can buy almost anything from anywhere. That means the biggest differentiating factors among retailers are personalization and customer service. Poor customer service causes 78% of shoppers to bail on their intended purchase and go to another store. With consumers having so many different choices available, it’s easy to see why customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than ones who are not.
Customer-centric marketing is all about changing your approach. Instead of thinking about what you can sell to your customers, think about what your customers need and how you can help. It’s 7x more expensive to gain a new customer than is it to keep a current one. Which is why customer-centric marketing leads to better sales. When you show you care about a customer, you make a deeper connection with them. Deeper connections lead to customer loyalty. On average, a loyal customer is worth up to 10x their first purchase.
Creating deeper connections with your customers starts with putting them at the center of everything you do. That means getting to know exactly who they are, what they want and how they shop by conducting comprehensive and ongoing data analysis. Then predictive modeling can help your business create experiences that are more likely to be enjoyed, shared and repeated.
Research shows that most people spend at least 2 hours a day on their phones. Retailers can take insights like this and pair them with new technologies such as beacons to engage their customers and provide a more valuable shopping experience. When you have a deeper understanding of who your customers are and what they need, you can create personalized products and service offerings for them.
The Complaint Department: For every customer that takes the time to complain, approximately 26 just left without saying anything. People want to be treated with genuine courtesy and respect. 55% of customers will actually pay more for a guaranteed experience. What value do your customers need to see before they are willing to pay or come back?
Good customer service has the power to make someone drive all the way across town. It can turn a first-time shopper into a loyal customer and an advocate for your store. The customer experience is how you're store is remembered and will be talked about.
58% of people do an online search before making a purchase. That’s why it is imperative to know what people are saying about your store in your reviews. That way you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. A good review is the goal, but a bad review can be an opportunity to make up for it in a big way.
How can you become more customer-centric? Here’s a checklist of attributes that make you a customer-centric company:
- Value people’s time
- Good attitude
- Offer options
- Quality of product & service
- Be proactive
- Be authentic
- When you mess up, make up for it and then some
- Respond to feedback & follow up
- Be kind and unexpected
- Make reaching out easy
- Never say no, say what I can do is…
- Empower employees
- Have patience
- Be positive
- Follow the golden rule
Folding customer-centric marketing into your retail marketing helps to create long-term value for your retail business by creating loyal, high-value customers. What are some of the customer-centric things that your business does to keep your customers coming back? What are your favorite stories about going above and beyond for your customers?