This is an interesting question I got asked recently, which has no straight-forward answer. To answer it, let’s breakdown what customer-centric means…
To be customer-centric you have to care about your customers. And while all businesses say they care (who pays their bills), it’s not true. Most companies put profit first, and customer satisfaction second. You don’t have to over-analyze it, just look at how they treat their customers when complaints arise!
What is customer obsession?
For me, customer-centric means you’re obsessed with your customers. You aim to transform them, rather than just serve them. You anticipate their needs, and never take for granted that their existing ones are met. They have your ear, and you do your best to put yourself in their shoes because you obsess about making them better at whatever it is they do with your product or service.
Be brutally honest with yourself, is this something you do?
Ask yourself the following question to help you figure out if you really care about your customers:
- Do you know what your customers think and feel about you?
- Do you care?
- Are your customers engaged with you?
- Do they care about you?
- Do we care more about the transaction than their transformation?
- Do you have their best interest in mind even though it may lead to lower profits?
Here’s a younger Jeff Bezos talking about how to run a customer-centric company:
1. Listen to your customers
2. Invent for your customers
3. Personalize for each and everyone of your customerspic.twitter.com/cGW8soTBaq
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) January 28, 2019
I believe the following question sums up customer obsession: “If your business disappeared tomorrow, would anyone care?”
Famed restaurateur Danny Meyer, who puts hospitality first, had this thought to share about how he sees his relationship with his customers: “If one of our restaurants closes, I want people to say, ‘Something just went missing in my life.’”