Customer Centricity is a business strategy and culture that puts the customer first, with decisions made based on the impact they will have on the customer.
With application across all aspects of work, customer centricity can have multiple manifestations. To become more customer centric, you need to break it into tangible pieces and find a way to measure how you perform in them, including softer areas like relationships and culture.
The more granular you get, the clearer it will become what you need to improve. At Amdocs, we developed a program for measuring and improving customer centricity – the Amdocs Customer Centricity Framework. It looks at six different domains which we believe are all key. This quarterly tip roundup will focus on the first: Customer Relationship.
Tip #1: Understand where the other person is coming from!
Culture eats strategy for breakfast
Before starting any relationship, it’s important to understand where the other person is coming from.
Think about your customer. Were you born and raised in the same country? Do you share the same culture? Many of us don’t.
Where people come from in terms of beliefs, values, attitudes and social norms can explain how they think and behave. A lot of this ties to culture.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a famous quote from Peter Drucker, an influential thinker on modern business. Whatever your business strategy is, it will be the culture that will determine what will get lived out in reality.
Tip #2: Mix it up to build the relationship!
How about a cup of coffee?
A great way to find out where the other person is coming from are informal settings. Invite your customer to a cup of coffee or a drink, could also be virtual!
And if you are mostly emailing and texting with your customer, pick up the phone! A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that hearing someone’s voice increases intimacy. There are linguistic cues that come through our voice that suggest thought and emotion. This helps us better understand one another and feel more empathic.
Tip #3: Fun can become a useful tool!
Did you know that a mosquito has 47 teeth?
Making things fun can help change behaviors and relationships for the better and also translates into how brands are perceived. For instance, cool trivia facts can be great conversation starters. Did you know that about 700 grapes go into one bottle of wine, or that Cotton Candy was invented by a dentist?
Online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos is a spectacular example of customer centricity. Their #1 company value is: 'To deliver the WOW effect in every customer interaction'; ‘Creating fun and a little weirdness’ is #3.
About the Amdocs Customer Centricity Framework
The Amdocs Customer Centricity Framework aims to help improve our engagements and relationships with our customers. As part of the program, customer-facing teams undergo an assessment targeted to measure their customer centricity maturity levels and identify areas where they can improve across six domains: Customer Relationship, Research, Prioritization, Creating Value, Measurement and Culture. An improvement plan is then put in place and executed upon.
This is an additional program developed by the Amdocs Customer Centricity team in support of our customer journeys, not just during the sales process, but throughout their engagements with us.