What Is Customer Centricity and How to Build It

Issac Thomas

June 10, 20247 min read

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You are in business because of your customers, that’s why customer-centricity is a virtue you need to cultivate. If you haven’t yet! 

Major brands like Amazon and Zappos already have adopted a customer-centric approach to drive repeat business, build customer loyalty and an ever-lasting legacy. What is stopping you?  

According to PwC, almost one-third of customers will abandon a brand they love after a single poor experience. PwC emphasizes the importance of client-centric experiences, stating: “Experience is everything. Get it right. Good customer experience leaves people feeling heard and appreciated. It minimizes friction, maximizes efficiency and maintains a human element.” 

That’s client-centricity summed up in a nutshell for you. It starts with a strategic mindset shift that cascades down the ranks in your organization. 

But before we get there, let’s understand the concept of customer centricity and how it became the holy grail for business success. 

What is customer-centricity? 

Customer-centricity is a business philosophy and strategic framework that places the customer at the center of all decisions and actions. This approach ensures a positive customer experience at every stage of the customer journey by deeply understanding and anticipating customers' needs, preferences and expectations. But how do you do that? 

By ensuring there are no conversations, discussions, decisions or planning without bringing in the customer's voice and without asking:  

  1. How will this impact the customer?  

  2. How will it make them feel?  

  3. What problems does it solve for them?  

  4. What value will it add?  

This information is factored into how products and services are designed to ensure that the brand finds products for customers and solves problems for them rather than finding customers for their products, which may or may not be a fit for them. 

Steve Jobs perfectly encapsulated the idea of customer-centricity when he said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.”

Customer centricity is not synonymous with customer service or customer obsession.  Customer centricity focuses on meeting customer needs, while customer obsession goes further, prioritizing an intense commitment to exceeding those needs. Unlike general customer service, which focuses on addressing immediate and recurring issues, customer-centricity involves understanding and anticipating customer needs, tailoring interactions to provide personalized solutions and consistently enhancing the overall customer journey.  

Editor’s Choice: The Forrester CX Planning Guide

Why is customer centricity important?  

Customer-centricity pushes businesses to leverage customer data to gain insights into buying behavior, interests and engagement. By understanding these patterns, companies can identify opportunities to create targeted products, services and campaigns that cater to their best customers. Additionally, it enables businesses to segment customers based on their spending habits, ensuring that top spenders receive tailored experiences that build customer loyalty and drive. It leads to four major benefits. 

  • Enhanced customer experience: By focusing on customers' needs and preferences, businesses can deliver personalized experiences that exceed expectations. 

  • Customer loyalty and retention: Satisfied customers are more likely to return and remain loyal, reducing customer churn

  • Improved brand reputation: Positive experiences encourage customers to turn into brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth that helps attract new customers. 

  • Higher profitability and revenue: Customer-centric companies are more profitable due to increased customer lifetime value (CLV) and reduced acquisition costs. 

📖 Case study time  

Uber’s global head of social media had the challenging task of making the world a COVID-free, safer place for riders and drivers. The brand realized home-bound customers needed to feel safe while traveling and that’s how they started searching for a platform that could help them manage customer interactions and resolve customer concerns timely.  

What happened next?  

Uber partnered with Sprinklr’s Unified Customer Experience Management (Unified-CXM) platform to manage and publish brand content on their website and app, proactively addressing safety concerns and risk factors for public transit users.

The result?  This approach allowed Uber to maintain a helpful, customer-centric voice and deliver exceptional customer support to travelers in need. By expanding its use of Sprinklr, Uber: 

  • reduced its response rates and case resolution times 

  • saved its support agents over 4,000 hours 

  • lowered its first response time by a staggering 33% 

Needless to say, Uber customers were appreciative of the brand’s proactive customer-first mindset.  

Check out what John Marston, Uber’s Global head of social media care said.

Sprinklr’s unified platform enables Uber to engage with and serve our global customers, at scale, so that we have a singular brand voice while providing a first-class customer experience whenever support is needed. 

John Marston 
Global Head of Social Media Care
Uber 

You can read Uber’s story here. But if you want to know HOW they did it — see for yourself, at no cost, for 30 days. 👇    

All this while one major question arises, if customer-centricity leads to better products and services, then aren’t customer-centricity and product-centricity two similar terms or are they different? 

Customer centricity vs. Product centricity 

Customer centricity and product centricity may sound similar, but customer-centricity prioritizes customer experience, while product-centricity focuses on creating innovative products. Customer delight drives the former, while the latter emphasizes R&D and technology. The below table talks about their differences across 10 different aspects.  

Aspect 

Customer centricity 

Product centricity 

Focus 

Customer needs and experiences 

Product features and innovations 

Goal 

Enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty 

Develop superior products 

Strategy 

Personalize interactions 

Improve product performance 

Success Measurement 

Customer feedback and retention rate 

Sales volume and market share 

Approach 

Tailored solutions 

Standardized offerings 

Decision Making 

Driven by consumer insights 

Driven by product development 

Relationship longevity 

Long-term customer relationships 

Transactional sales 

Adaptability 

Responsive to customer preferences 

Focused on product lifecycle 

Company Culture 

Customer-first mindset 

Innovation and product excellence 

Inspiration Alert: Grupo Bimbo’s Recipe for Customer Centricity

How to build a customer-centric strategy 

Customer-centricity is a company culture that goes beyond providing stellar customer service. From product development and marketing to sales and support, when every department prioritizes customer experience, that’s where you sow the foundation of customer-centricity and that’s what happens through the following steps. 

1. Anticipate customer needs

Proactively understanding and predicting what customers will need in the future can set the tone for client centricity. This involves looking beyond current demands and considering what will enhance the customer experience down the line. And you can do that through the following steps: - 

  • Regularly conduct market research to identify emerging trends and potential needs in your industry. 

  • Organize workshops with your team to brainstorm future products or services that could meet these anticipated needs. 

  • Listen to your customers and develop detailed customer journey maps to identify potential pain points and opportunities for future improvements. 

🤖 Customer journey mapping gets better with AI

You can unlock the full potential of your customer touchpoints by integrating AI in your customer journeys.

  1. Implement AI-driven analytics to monitor interactions

Use AI-powered analytics to track and analyze customer interactions across various touchpoints in real-time. This allows you to identify patterns, trends, and potential issues early, enabling a more proactive approach to customer service. 

2. Utilize AI chatbots for real-time support

Deploy AI chatbots on your website and mobile apps to provide instant support to customers. These chatbots can handle common queries, guide users through processes, and escalate complex issues to human agents, ensuring a seamless and efficient customer experience. The best part? 
 
There’s a great suite of AI products at Sprinklr, designed to dig deep into customer psyche and behaviors. Schedule a demo today to understand your customers better  

 2. Collect customer feedback 

Consistent and multi-channel feedback collection is crucial for understanding customer expectations and improving your services accordingly. You can collect and manage customer feedback through the following steps: - 

  • Deploy customer surveys to gather quantitative and qualitative data. 

  • Utilize survey platforms to conduct user tests and gain insights into how customers interact with your products. 

  • Make routine direct calls to customers to gather in-depth feedback and adapt your strategies in real-time. 

💪 Multiple channels, one survey 

When you start taking feedback across multiple channels from multiple customers, it does get overwhelming and you could easily lose track. 

What’s the solution?  

Use an AI-powered survey platform like Sprinklr to identify your customers' main contact drivers or pain points. Also, creating a survey for every one of your channels is an ordeal. That’s why you need an omnichannel survey solution that creates one survey to seamlessly deploy across multiple channels. 

Interesting, isn’t it? 

A survey to deploy across multiple channels via Sprinklr

Try Sprinklr’s Omnichannel Survey Solution for yourself and deploy a unified survey across 30+ modern and digital channels to capture your customer sentiment in real time. Hit the button below and start your 30-day free trial now! 


Afraid of survey fatigue? Here’s
how you can measure CSAT without customer surveys.  

3. Be easily accessible 

Making it easy for customers to reach you demonstrates your commitment to their satisfaction and builds trust. You can accomplish this through these steps: - 

  • Ensure your contact information is easily visible on your website and all customer touchpoints

  • Offer multiple support channels, such as phone, email and live chat support available round-the-clock. 

  • Maintain a comprehensive knowledge base and FAQ section that addresses common queries and issues. 

  • Implement chatbots and voice bots to provide assistance during out-of-business hours, ensuring customers receive support at any time. 

📲 Beware:   

While you try to keep up with customers hopping multiple channels, you need to stay vigilant as you might miss out on an important conversation. Common wisdom says you do 99 things right, but doing one wrong will still be counted as a mistake.   To avoid that one mistake, you can avail contact center as a service (CCaaS) and enjoy the benefits of a cloud-hosted contact center. To keep all communication channels under one roof, ensure your CCaaS solution is omnichannel which helps you: -  

  • Integrate all your channels into a single platform for seamless interactions 

  • Utilize real-time analytics to monitor and improve customer experiences. 

  • Automate workflows and use AI-driven insights to boost agent productivity. 

Want to check these benefits out? Hit us up for a free trial of Sprinklr CCaaS 👇  

P.S. Want to check out more CCaaS vendors and compare their features, pricing and reviews? Read our no-holds-barred review blog.

4. Grab every opportunity for in-person client meetings 

Personal, face-to-face interactions can provide deep insights and strengthen customer relationships. Organize regular events, workshops or meetups where customers can engage with your team and offer feedback. Encourage them to visit your physical locations, if applicable, for a more personalized experience. Additionally, schedule periodic meetings with key clients to discuss their needs and gather direct feedback. 

🏂The charm of offline events will never fade away! 

The world is becoming digital but in-person client meetings remain invaluable for building strong, lasting relationships. After all, there's nothing quite like a face-to-face chat to remind everyone that we're not just pixels on a screen. These interactions allow for deeper connections, more meaningful conversations and the opportunity to understand client needs on a personal level—beyond the occasional emoji. 

Sprinklr exemplifies this approach with its CX Connect events.  

Think of CX Connect as a lively gathering where Sprinklr rolls out the red carpet for key clients. These events provide a platform for discussing industry trends, sharing best practices, and receiving direct feedback from clients. It's a bit like a family reunion, but with more PowerPoints and fewer awkward questions about your love life.  

They foster a collaborative environment where ideas can be exchanged, and relationships can be strengthened, hopefully without the need for any stiff upper lips. 

Here's a glimpse from a recent CX Connect event: 

A session of Ian Jacobs during a Sprinklr CX Connect event in London, 2023

By seizing every opportunity for in-person meetings, businesses can enhance their customer-centric strategies, just as Sprinklr does with CX Connect. These engagements are crucial for understanding client needs and driving mutual growth, and they might even lead to the occasional hearty chuckle over a cup of tea. 

5. Provide proactive customer service 

Anticipating customer issues and addressing them before they arise can significantly enhance the customer experience. You can do that through the following steps.  

  • Predict customer satisfaction (CSAT) and identify potential escalations in ongoing conversations. Proactively pivot your strategy based on real-time insights to prevent issues from snowballing. AI-powered customer service software can help you with this. 

Predicting CSAT score with Sprinklr

Create a robust knowledge base and self-service portal where customers can easily find answers to common queries. Inject AI into your knowledge base so it can figure out prevalent issues by inspecting users’ search histories and auto-create resources for them. 

Keep customers informed and engaged by sending regular updates and tips on how to use your products or services effectively.  

Monitor customer usage patterns using analytics and proactively reach out if any unusual activity is detected. This helps in addressing potential issues before they escalate, improving overall customer satisfaction. 

Read More: A Complete Guide on Proactive Customer Service  

7. Look beyond the purchase 

Providing value beyond the initial purchase helps build long-term customer relationships and encourages repeat business. You can provide great after-sales service through the following steps: - 

  • Consider sending customers personalized thank-you notes, inviting them to exclusive store launches and brand events.  

  • Provide them with detailed information on how to maximize the benefits of their purchase, ensuring they feel valued and supported.  

  • Engage with them regularly, remembering special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries and enrolling them in reward programs to make them feel appreciated.  

  • Keeping them informed about the latest offers and discounts will also help maintain their interest and loyalty. 

💑 Have you thought about establishing a customer community?  

A customer community binds your customers together and helps them solve their post-purchase issues through: 

  • Peer-to-peer assistance 

  • In-built chat 

  • Brand-provided self-serve resources 

Plus, customers have a safe space to vent out issues, seeking dedicated one-to-one assistance from the brand and from other customers. There are also tons of fun activities like gamified leaderboards, polls and contests to engage customers.  Check out Sprinklr’s community bubbling with activity:     

A thriving and vibrant Sprinklr community

If you want to establish a customer community for your own brand, Sprinklr offers a community forum software. Get a demo and see for yourself how to build a community of engaging customers.  

8. Create an onboarding process 

A structured onboarding process ensures customers understand how to use your products effectively from the start, reducing churn and increasing satisfaction. You can do that through the following steps.  

  • Make customers feel valued by personalizing their onboarding experience. Anticipate their needs and tailor your communication to match their preferences.  

  • Offer customers the necessary administrative and financial details upfront. This could include account setup instructions, billing information and any relevant paperwork.  

  • Help customers understand your team structure and how your processes work. Introduce them to key team members and explain their role in the onboarding process like the below image. 

Sprinklr-s onboarding process

 Read More: Fasten The Onboarding Process  

📕Invest in knowledge 

For minor hiccups or common queries, you could redirect customers to a knowledge base if they require more information on using a product/service. As explained, an AI-powered KB is like a self-sustaining engine to bring customers the answers they seek automatically.  

Take a look at the image below. A customer is seeking answers from a customer service chatbot on using his newly purchased smartwatch. Since the chatbot is integrated with the brand’s KB, a help article reaches the customer within seconds. The article is super-relevant as AI has tagged it with the right keywords. It sure beats searching through the vaults of a traditional KB, hunting for the perfect resource to solve your problem, doesn’t it?  

Acme-s knowledge base powered by Sprinklr

 9. Measuring the success of customer-centricity 

To ensure your customer-centric strategies are effective, regularly measure their impact using specific metrics: 

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures the likelihood of customers recommending your business to others.  

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Measures how satisfied customers are with your products or services.  

  • Customer Effort Score (CES): Measures the ease with which customers can interact with your company to get their issues resolved.  

  • Churn Rate: Measures the percentage of customers who stop using your products or services over a certain period.    

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Measures the total revenue a business can expect from a customer throughout their entire relationship.  

  • First Response Time: Measures the average time taken by your team to respond to initial customer queries or issues.  

💡 Recommendation time 

Successful customer-centric companies leverage data and insights to understand their customers deeply. They use advanced tools and technologies to track customer interactions, predict satisfaction levels and identify potential issues before they escalate.  

Sprinklr is an AI-powered reporting and analytics solution that goes beyond measuring metrics. It tracks trends across timeframes, allowing you to pinpoint when a strategy starts delivering results.  

With Sprinklr, you can visualize your data with relevant dashboards, gaining valuable insights into customer behavior and engagement.  

Check the dashboard below- 

A Sprinklr dashboard giving valuable insights into customer behavior and engagement

The dashboard breaks down the tickets raised by customers and segregates them by pain points, tracking trends across a specific timeframe. For a contact center, this report is invaluable since it simplifies reporting for various clients.  

If you use Sprinklr, you get access to many such customer-centric metrics, analytics and reports – standard and curated specially for your brand, audience and goals. 

Sign up for a free trial today and experience the power of AI-driven analytics first-hand. 

Implementing these strategies with the help of Sprinklr tools ensures your business remains customer-centric and agile in responding to evolving customer needs. 

How to choose the right customer-centric strategy for your business 

Choosing the right customer-centric strategy needs a clear understanding of your customers and some strategic inspiration. We'll explore how to create an effective customer-centric strategy by looking at industry leaders like Ikea, Starbucks and Apple. 

1. Ikea – In-Store and Digital Experience  

Strategy: Customer-friendly stores and immersive app experience 

Ikea excels in creating an immersive in-store experience with carefully curated spaces, a food court and complimentary childcare. Additionally, their IKEA Place app enhances the digital experience by allowing customers to visualize true-to-scale 3D models of furniture in their homes. This blend of physical and digital strategies ensures a seamless and personalized customer journey. 

Ikea App Image

2. Starbucks – Customization  

Strategy: Product hyper-personalization and contextual recommendations 

Starbucks offers over 87,000 possible drink combinations, allowing customers to personalize their beverages.  

The mobile app enhances this experience by remembering previous orders and offering customized rewards based on customer preferences. This level of customization fosters a strong connection with customers and encourages repeat business.

Starbucks app

3. Apple – End-to-End Customer Experience  

Strategy: Comprehensive customer experience management 

Apple’s focus on the entire customer journey, from product discovery to after-sales service, drives fanatical loyalty.   

Their Apple Stores offer personalized advice and training, meticulously designed packaging delights customers and their products are user-friendly from the moment they are unboxed.  

This holistic approach ensures a consistent and exceptional customer experience. 

Read More: Understand The A-Z of Customer Experience Management 

Ikea, Starbucks and Apple are renowned brands, for a change let’s go with a renowned yet anonymous brand that deployed Sprinklr to lay the foundation of customer centricity in their organization. 

📖Case study time  

A global bakery giant, Grupo Bimbo, sought to streamline its customer engagement processes and enhance its digital footprint. The objectives included:  

  • Streamline social media management 

  • Enhance customer care across platforms 

Solution 

Grupo Bimbo embraced Sprinklr's Unified-CXM platform, bringing all their social media management, listening, and customer care into one place. This streamlined approach allowed their team to respond faster and more effectively to customer needs. With access to real-time customer insights and feedback, employees could anticipate needs and address concerns proactively. 

Customers enjoyed quicker, more personalized support, while employees found it easier to collaborate and resolve issues. Engaging with customers on their preferred channels provided consistent and seamless support and the platform enabled employees to share information and solutions quickly, reducing response times and increasing efficiency. 

There is a recipe for customer centricity, 

Brands that get it right become master chefs! This is what the Grupo Bimbo case study teaches us. 

Curious?  

Watch the full case study here.  

Ready to elevate your brand with customer-centricity? 

You've seen how industry giants like Ikea, Starbucks and Apple create exceptional customer experiences through strategic personalization, customer engagement and comprehensive feedback management. To achieve similar success, leveraging the right tools is crucial. Sprinklr Service and Sprinklr AI+ can help your brand become truly customer-centric by leveraging functionalities like: 

🌐 Seamless omnichannel support, managing interactions across various platforms from one interface. 

🤖 AI-driven insights to personalize customer interactions, enhancing satisfaction and loyalty. 

📈 Advanced analytics to gain deep insights into customer behavior, enabling data-driven personalization. 

🔄AI-enriched experiences, ensuring consistency and responsiveness. 

Impressive, isn't it? Transform your customer experience with Sprinklr today and make your brand a favorite among customers. Click the button below to start your journey with a FREE 30-day trial of Sprinklr today ⏬ 

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