Customer-centricity is not just a project, it’s a way of thinking and doing things. It’s about taking the customer into consideration in all we do, from product design to service delivery. In fact, customer-centricity isn’t just about customers; it encompasses all key stakeholders including employees and partners. Everyone benefits when you work with your team to come up with ideas that will make life easier for customers!
While it is easy to say that customer-centricity is a good thing and we should implement it, the fact of the matter is that it is not so simple. As with any change in culture, there will be many challenges to overcome.
One of these challenges could be a misunderstanding of what customer-centricity actually means (and this is where most companies go wrong). It’s not just about providing the right product or service; it’s also about how you interact with your customers in every way: from how they interact with your website or social media accounts, to what kind of experience they have when dealing with your support team or sales team.
This requires a change in attitude from everyone involved—from CEOs down to interns—and this can be difficult for some people who may not have grown up within such an environment. That’s where customer-centric strategies and policies come into play.
Customer-Centric Strategies and Policies
Customer-centricity goes beyond customer satisfaction. It doesn’t just focus on the products or services, it also considers creating great customer experiences by providing solutions that address the needs, wants, and pain points of your customers.
That’s why a strategy and policies are core to customer-centricity.
What Is a Strategy?
A strategy is a long-term plan adopted by an organisation to achieve its objectives. It sets out the organisation’s overall direction and defines how it will operate in the future. A strategy should be based on your vision and mission statements that represent what you want your company to be and the values you want to be followed as it grows.
What Are Policies?
Policies are the rules that govern how your business operates. They’re clear guidelines that are designed to help you, and every member of your organisation, achieve your goals and objectives. Policies are essential because they provide structure around how each and every stakeholder makes decisions.
While the strategy serves as a long-term plan of action, the policies support its execution by offering guidance for day-to-day decisions made at different levels in the organisation. A customer-centric strategy implements policies that always remind you to put your customer at the centre of everything you do. This means anticipating your customers’ behaviours, as well as identifying areas of improvement so you can foster great customer experiences and grow your business in the long run.
A Case for K-Rep Fedha Services (KFS) Limited and Financial Services Associations (FSAs)
Financial Services Associations (FSAs) are membership-based financial institutions offering members credit, savings, and money transaction services. K-Rep Fedha Services Limited (KFS) is a specialist FSA management company. We worked with the KFS and FSAs to support their orientation into a customer-centric organisation. During this project, we reviewed their organisational structure, strategy, and offering to their customers and synthesised recommendations to drive customer-centricity.
We developed a framework to evaluate customer-centricity in both organisations and included key stakeholders in our evaluation process. The first element we evaluated was the strategy and policies. We discovered that the KFS and FSA staff had differing opinions on what was most important to their customers. The KFS staff ranked financial well-being as the main need while the FSA staff ranked being a trustworthy financial partner as the main need. This lack of understanding of their customer needs led to the misalignment of operations and priorities between the two bodies.
Using design-thinking approaches, we recommended that the KFS Board and the FSA Staff work together to co-develop a customer-centric strategy for their organisations. This would mean gathering input from all key stakeholders, including the clients and all staff members at different levels, to foster inclusivity and ownership. We highlighted opportunities that they could leverage and shared our recommendations:
- Measure customer-centricity across all FSA touchpoints using tools such as surveys
- Define and document how KFS and FSAs plan to be customer-centric organisations and circulate this information to all stakeholders through channels such as newsletters or town hall meetings.
- Increase brand awareness by reintroducing the organisation’s identity and culture to its target audience. Build positive brand associations by engaging with the community to improve user uptake
- Give back to the community through CSR initiatives, such as sponsoring local events, for brand building and community engagement.
- Establish secure legal status by determining a regulatory framework in which FSAs will operate such as the Savings and Credit Co-Operative Society (SACCO) model.
Key Indicators of a Customer-Centric Organisation
For your organisation to become customer-centric, it’s essential that you first have a clear understanding of who your customers are, what they need from your company, and how you can provide solutions for them. This will inform your ongoing efforts to create an exceptional experience for each individual customer throughout every step of their journey with you — from first contact to repeat purchases over time.
A few indicators that you are a customer-centric organisation are:
- The leadership team adapts and fosters customer-centricity within the organisation. Employees at all other levels have a shared understanding of what needs to be done in order for the company to succeed.
- Customer-centricity is recognised as a governing principle that drives business.
- The objectives aimed to drive customer-centricity are clearly communicated and are regularly reviewed to assess progress.
- The organisation focuses on the customer and draws them into a value proposition
- Customer satisfaction is viewed as a profit driver.
- Organisational-wide policies are focused on meeting the needs of the customers, not just making sales.
- Customer-centricity is frequently measured and the necessary adjustments are made.
- Customer complaints and feedback are viewed as positive learning experiences and are actively addressed.
Customer-centricity is a tough concept to put into practice. It requires the right leadership, talent and a culture that is customer-focused but sometimes it’s easy for organisations to forget about the importance of this when they are busy focusing on other aspects of their businesses. However, organisations like K-rep Fedha Services Limited (KFS) have shown us how powerful customer centricity can be when implemented correctly because they have been able to achieve great success by doing so.
Email us today at email@example.com and we’ll help you develop and implement customer-centric strategies and policies that deliver elevated experiences for your customers.