Editor's Note: This post was originally published July 2012 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Wow! When you experience amazing customer service, it’s breathtaking.
I was once at a Disney resort hotel in Florida and went late at night to an area set aside for snacks for those guests still needing just one more nibble before bed.
The room was empty except for me and a couple of others (and the snacks of course!) and … a magician! Disney had, I presume, arranged for this magician to visit out-of-the-way snack areas in the evening, simply as a way to yet again bring the Disney magic to life.
Someone, somewhere, had said, “Phil or someone like him may be looking for a snack at the end of the day. That’s one more opportunity to set ourselves apart from the rest and provide a truly memorable vacation. So let’s have a magician come by once in a while to bring the Disney magic (so to speak!) to life.”
I saw first-hand that the people at Disney really understood customer centricity. They thought of all the different ways—large and small—to enhance my experience as their customer and provided that extra “something special” to make me want to go back again.
Dazzle Customers with Customer Centricity
Customer centricity occurs when every employee (whether customer-facing or not) in the company focuses their efforts on putting the customer first. A customer-centric culture is one where individuals take personal responsibility for offering an exceptional customer experience and feel empowered to ensure exceptional outcomes for the customer. Disney’s late-night snack bar and the presence of the magician put the magic in the details—they took what could have otherwise been an ordinary experience and made it special for me as their customer.
Customer centricity is much more than customer service. Customer service focuses on providing assistance, answering questions, or helping to resolve an issue. Great customer service is important, but customer centricity builds on that by focusing on the entire customer journey, from product or service positioning to the way the customer’s spoken and unspoken expectations are met.
Benefits of Customer Centricity
In an earlier Eagle’s Flight blog post, we discussed the myriad benefits of customer centricity. When employees put the customer first and put themselves in the customer’s shoes, the organization is in a position to realize tremendous business growth opportunities. The many benefits of customer centricity include:
- New areas of opportunity – When every employee is focused on the customer’s experiences and desired outcomes, the company is better positioned to identify new products and services in which the customer is interested and from which they will benefit.
- Deeper customer relationships – When employees are focused on delivering an extraordinary customer service experience, customer loyalty flourishes, and customers become invested in that relationship.
- Increased sales – Placing the customer at the center of your sales process helps sales staff consider and understand the needs of the customer, and then craft sales conversations to address those needs.
Build a Customer-Centric Culture
Whether you’re a consumer brand like Disney or a B2B service provider, your goal is likely still to dazzle your customers and provide an exceptional experience for them. Customer centricity training can provide the tools and skills to help employees develop a mindset that puts the customer first. When individuals learn to approach their jobs from the customer’s perspective, take responsibility for ensuring great customer service outcomes, and perform the actions that will improve the customer experience, your organization will be equipped to “provide a magician” and dazzle your customers.