There are a number of organisations now that either proclaim to be customer-centric, or are taking steps towards becoming a customer-centric organisation. Far from being a new fad or trend, customer-centricity has raged back into the forefront of most industries as a key strategy, nay, organisational culture, to help today’s businesses succeed in the face of the shifting power dynamic towards customers.
Market research provides a host of tools and a wealth of experience to help businesses accurately measure the success of their efforts in customer centricity. With platforms for surveys and focus groups and more creative qualitative tools, stakeholders can find out exactly what their customers are thinking at any one time, including how satisfied they are with the strategies developed, and how they are impacted by the measures taken with the customer experience.
|There are a number of market research and business methods to help measure the success of customer-centric strategies, but how do stakeholders decide which ones are right for them?|
While market research provides a wealth of opportunity to measure the success of customer centricity, a some of those methods do require more knowledge and expertise from insight professionals – something some businesses don’t have in-house. But there are market research techniques that most businesses know of and mostly use even if they don’t realise it, just not for the purpose of measuring customer-centricity. Here are a few measures businesses currently use that can also indicate the strength and influence of customer-centricity within an organisation:
1. Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Customer satisfaction surveys are a staple of KPI measurement for businesses. Typically, the data from these surveys are used as for surface-level temperature taking, making sure that customers are happy with the products and service they received, and then never contacting them again until a repeat purchase occurs.
But these surveys provide great opportunities to measure the success of strategies, the current thoughts of customers, and discover opportunities for improvement. While they’re typically used as more basic surveys, they provide more information than NPS and gain a more in-depth feeling about how the customer base are experiencing the brand. But a few more tailored questions could lift this method up even further to ask for more detail on the customers’ experiences and how their customer-centric tactics are perceived or experienced if at all.
2. Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score (NPS) offers a different method to customer satisfaction surveys, a lot shorter, thus more basic, and gets a bad reputation from most audiences based on it’s focus on ‘on a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family’ question. The focus on this question is logical given the method’s name, and is actually quite a good measure of how satisfied a customer is if they’ve had a good experience and feel inclined to fill it out.
But the real benefit can be found when combining the data from the Net Promoter Score with other methods, using the NPS data to support the data from other methods such as the customer satisfaction survey and feedback gathered from Customer Services.
3. Customer Service Feedback
Customer Services holds a wealth of information directly from the mouths of both current and prospective customers. As the go-to source of direct communication with a brand, Customer Services Representatives here complaints, feedback, commendations and opportunities straight from the horse’s mouth, and as such should be afforded more attention when it comes to measuring how well the customer-centric strategy and culture is playing out.
Key questions that come from the insights generated by data from Customer Services can include gems such as: What opportunities for improvement are there that customers need in various products and services, or in the customer experience? What are the customers needing or missing in their lives that this brand might be able to provide? Are your processes and strategies having the impact you believe they are?
4. Customer Lifetime Value and Churn Rate
A customer Lifetime Value metric measures the total worth to a business of a customer over the whole period of their relationship. This combined with the brand’s customer churn rate will show how many customers are return customers, new customers, and very rare or very regular customers. It is a great measure of business growth, and a growing business is a successful one.
If the business sees any improvement in the CLV and Churn rate statistics, and is growing since the customer centricity measures came into place, then we can assume there is a correlation between the two occurrences. What’s more, using correlation analysis techniques, insight teams and stakeholders can measure the impact of different parts of the strategy (from the time they were implemented) to the growth and churn rate statistics (combined with in-depth qual analysis of customer feedback) to find out which ones might be having the best impact specifically, and use these insights to take the next steps into the world of customer centricity.
5. Market Research Participation
While all of these market research methods are great ways to measure how customer-centric a business is, it does all depend on one particular thing: the participation of customers. But the amount of customer participation in research can also be an indicator of how customer-centric the organisation is in and of itself.
With more customers involved in research, the more customer data the brand will have to action on; if only a small amount of customers respond to your research requests, then that shows a lack of customer data to base decisions on, and thus a lack of customer-centricity in that organisation.
So ask the questions: how invested are your customers in your brand, and how much high-quality, reliable customer data are you embedding into the heart of decision-making processes?
|Customer Service channels, market research and internal business statistics all make for great methods to measure the success of customer centricity - but they cannot be relied upon on their own.|
Combining Methods for the Best Measurement Strategy
But these are just a few methods or many that businesses can use to measure their success when implementing customer-centric strategies within their organisation, and it’s worth noting that every business’ journey to customer-centricity will be different. This means everyone will find that some techniques don’t work for them, where other techniques work better than everyone else anticipated, and finding the right balance will require a bit of trial and error.
However, one mistake businesses shouldn’t make is to only rely on a single metric to measure their success. Employing a number of metrics to measure success for each department and strategy used will enhance the relevance of the insights gained into how well each is working, and boost the accuracy of final indication; using a combination of key performance indicators within each metric typically has the best chance of seeing how customer-centric a business is from multiple angles.