Customer-centricity is an approach to what businesses prioritize, how they measure success and how they innovate their solutions. It takes a business and aims its products, processes and services toward its consumer base, as opposed to the end profit or products. Many businesses have learned that customer-centricity is a key to long-term viability and relevance.

Maybe you sincerely believe your company is rooted in customer-first principles. Maybe you’re not too sure anymore. How do you measure customer-centricity in your business?

Is your business focusing on customer-centricity?

Being customer-centric means you have the voice of the customer in meetings and decision-making. There are two ways of determining how customer-centric your organization is: research customer satisfaction data and review internal operations. 

The first answer for how to measure customer centricity is whether your business is researching and measuring customer satisfaction on any level. If not, the business is not customer-centric almost by definition. Your organization needs to be actively seeking to understand how your customers feel about its product and service. This data will normally have to be sought out by prompting customers to participate in surveys or by asking them to answer quick questions throughout the sales process.

Statistics on the notebook screen

You can also ask some questions within your operational process: How are goals set on employee performance? How are they incentivized? What does success look like for the solutions your organization is providing? If your business is not assessing staff performance by end-user feedback to some degree, it’s probably not customer-centric. Without employees incentivized to better serve the customer, products and operations aren’t likely to inherit customer-centric value.

In this day and age, what customers are saying about your business — especially online — is essentially what your business is. Companies should be investing in hearing the customers’ voices.

Start with the data to measure customer centricity

For decision-makers in your company, there’s nothing more valuable than data. While financial numbers and production data are often readily available, data on customer satisfaction requires there to be proactive outreach programs.

A customer-centric organization needs to be sourcing for problems and displeasure. When customers open up and identify something is broken or not working well, it can be hard to hear. But that feedback is an invaluable opportunity to make course corrections that can bolster the lifetime value of your customer base.

"we hear you" banner

Data that can tell you the story about customer experience include:

Gathering this data normally takes incentivizing your customer base to share their feelings with you. You could create a budget for gift cards or promotional offers for customers who agree to spend time participating in moderated user testing.

Once collected, there need to be methods to circulate these numbers internally to incentivize staff on every level to produce a better customer experience.

Tetra Insight’s end-to-end enablement platform equips user experience teams with a robust feature stack to perform qualitative interviews through moderated user testing. These tools give companies access to audio and video insights to study user behavior and habits.

Where to begin?

One of the hardest things to do in any context is to change behaviors and habits. Reorienting a business to prioritize customer satisfaction is no exception. But it is worth it. Beginning the process is just a matter of setting simple goals and continuing to reinforce customer-centric values.

One of the first things required to establish customer-centricity is to assume there are areas where your organization is underperforming. With that in mind, the aim of your company’s customer research should be to set out to identify at least three areas where this is happening. Surveys and prompts should not shy away from uncomfortable questions and should open the door to constructive criticism. 

Survey graphic with hands

Customers identifying areas of friction or dissatisfaction should be seen as an invaluable opportunity, not a nuisance. If you’re not getting any customer feedback at the moment, set a goal to survey a certain number by the end of the quarter. If customer satisfaction hasn’t been incentivized, consider pausing production for a day or two to communicate the company’s values and review feedback as a team. Always assume you could be doing better for your customers. It will take listening to the customer and end-user feedback to narrow down where exactly improvements are needed.

Customer-centric solutions 

In this generation of businesses, entrepreneurs and executives are envisioning organizations that provide solutions to the total social value equation. The customer-centric model approach is a major component in creating sustainable social value. Customer-centric businesses are not just finding there is a more ethical purpose for their operation, but they’re finding it to be more profitable in the long term. Reorienting an entire organization seems like a daunting task, but it’s completely attainable by setting and executing carefully planned goals.