A marketing expert and scholar breaks down the keys to success in a buyer’s marketplace.
In a recent Knowledge@Wharton interview, Wharton Marketing Professor (and Customer Centricity author) Peter Fader made the following distinctions between providing great customer service and developing a customer-centric culture:
- While most companies strive to create a customer-friendly atmosphere, very few are truly customer-centric.
- Being customer-centric means that while you don’t specifically ignore certain customers, you do prioritize business opportunities based on their value to the company.
- Being customer-centric means basing your management decisions on what will generate the maximum amount of revenue from your proven customers.
- Being customer-centric also requires soliciting constant feedback from customers about upcoming or existing products, and using that data to give customers exactly what they asked for.
- In a customer-centric culture, buyers who generate the most profit for the company are entitled to special treatment, as well as value-added perks fair-weather customers are not.
- Customer-centric organizations live and die based on metrics that show which customers are the most valuable, and how to attract and close even more of those buyers.
The bottom line: Customer centricity is based on putting the customer’s needs above all else. In a marketplace where customers have more access and options than ever before, they’re more likely to gravitate toward companies that understand and speak to their intrinsic needs than they are to buy from companies that put their own needs first.