A new survey from The CMO Council, “Mastering Adaptive Customer Engagements,” offers interesting insight into the issue of customer-centricity, or how well focused a company is around its customers.
Customer-centricity is interesting because it’s more than just a 360-degree view of the customer, a term we associate with big data. It’s different from personalized interaction and relevance, which we associate with marketing. It’s a concept that draws together the customer’s experience with all areas of the brand, not just those that have to do with data and marketing. It’s the focus on the customer at all levels, from the products it develops to the way its call center handles customer interaction.
What makes a company “customer-centric”? According to the survey:
- 66% of marketers say quick response times to customer requests or complaints are core to demonstrating customer centricity.
- 47% say products that reflect a customer’s own needs and wants are central to demonstrating an organization’s customer focus (the assumption being that this includes personalization in marketing, too).
- 36% say “always on” access to products, account details, profile information and customer support.
Some of these functions are related to marketing, but many of them are not. These aspects are owned by customer service, product development, R&D teams, and operations, IT, customer service and marketing.
Thus, we might say a truly customer-centric organization is also an integrated organization, where all of the internal “clients” (or departments) are willing to talk to one another, coordinate, share information, and work together to create a positive customer-centered experience.
No matter how personalized, how targeted, and how relevant the communications, marketing can’t carry the customer-centric burden all by itself. Truly customer-centric marketing needs to be coordinated with other stakeholders throughout the company. So if the client conversation turns to customer-centricity, it’s important to ask the question, “What other areas of the company are being represented at the table?”