A customer-centric culture influences the way everybody in the organization behaves and makes decisions. Regardless of their role, employees are keenly aware of how it could affect the customer. However, as the people who are primarily customer-facing, sales and marketing professionals typically have the most direct impact on the customer experience.
Customer experience matters because, according to data compiled by Tempkin Group:
- People who had a great customer experience are 3.5 times more likely to repurchase.
- Those customers are also five times more likely to recommend a company after a good experience.
- Customers with a negative experience are 50 percent more likely to tell their friends.
Investing in a customer-centric culture leads to a better customer experience, which leads to repeat sales, more recommendations, and a better bottom line.
How a Customer-Centric Culture Impacts Marketing
Marketing efforts reach potential customers before they interact with salespeople or go to landing pages on a website. Marketing introduces people to the sales process and often provides the first impression customers have of the organization. As such, marketers must approach their jobs with a customer-centric mindset.
Marketers Create Messaging
Marketers craft the messages that customers hear; they create the face of the company. In a product-centric culture, the approach is to talk about the benefits of the product, service, or company. However, in a customer-centric culture, the approach is to talk about what matters most to the customer and to help them solve a problem, overcome a challenge, or have an enjoyable, memorable experience.
Marketers Set the Stage for the Rest of the Customer’s Experience
Customer-centric marketers understand that customers are unique individuals, not a uniform mass of people, and that multiple types of experiences must be created to satisfy all of their unique needs. This means considering how all kinds of customers approach the company through different channels (in-store, online, on the phone, and so on) and understanding that every customer journey must be optimized for an excellent customer experience.
Marketers Must Think Beyond the Hook
Customer-centric marketing goes beyond getting people engaged in the sales process. It includes follow-up after a purchase and maintaining proactive communication that supports customers’ needs and provides the best overall experience possible. A customer-centric culture empowers marketers to increase loyalty and boost repeat sales through ongoing communications that are valuable to customers.
How a Customer-Centric Culture Impacts Sales
The sales process exists between the awareness stage when marketing messages are reaching potential customers and the follow-up stage when marketers continue to cultivate relationships. This is when customers decide whether or not they are going to make a purchase from the company, so the experience they have leading up to and during the sales process is critical.
Data Drives Decisions
In most organizations, sales teams collect valuable data about customers and take planned action based on what they find out. In a customer-centric culture, this data can be used to tailor the customer sales experience around buying behavior and interests, rather than data that only pushes your products or services. It allows your sales team to approach selling in regards to the customer’s challenges and how they can solve them, which is what the customer truly cares about. The more information you can provide about what the customer actually cares about, the more likely you are to close a sale.
Sell, Sell, Sell … and More
Salespeople in a customer-centric culture are not just interested in driving sales, they are interested in selling the right products and services to the right people. They also look at the big picture. This means picking up on what customers are looking for—which is to solve their pain points—understanding their purchasing motivators, and communicating those desires to other teams within the organization. This type of communication leads to new product development and customized marketing messages, both of which help feed the sales cycle.
Sales & Marketing Contribute to Culture
While sales and marketing have different roles, they should not exist in silos and are just as responsible for creating a customer-centric culture as anyone else in the organization. In a customer-centric culture, every employee focuses on what the customer wants and needs, and to do this successfully, there must be communication between teams. When the primary focus is on the customer, the organization will shift away from viewing marketing as product promotion and sales as numbers on a page, and move toward a universal desire to build relationships and create an excellent, memorable customer experience and brand loyalty.