What's the Secret to Customer-Centric Success?

Customer Relationship Management
Customer Experience
When it comes to using customer centricity to improve business performance, there is no one secret formula for success.

When it comes to using customer centricity to improve business performance, there is no one secret formula for success. Customers, companies, and the relationships between them are unique. Therefore, each organization's customer-centric business strategy must be unique, as well.Consider Apple and Costco. The customer experiences these two companies deliver are vastly different. Yet, each has customers who are completely enamored and each consistently ranks high in various customer experience ratings. The reason? Each company is true to its mission and delivers on its promises. Apple customers know they'll get amazing, beautifully designed products and are willing to pay a premium for them; Costco customers, on the other hand, will happily stand in long checkout lines to get the deals the retailer provides.

As these two companies demonstrate, customer centricity isn't just about customer service. It's about understanding what your customers want and delivering it. Winners of this year's Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards are further proof that taking a unique approach to customer centricity is what will become each company's own secret formula for business success.

Consider the following:

  • A logistics firm is using analytics to identify customer service agent training opportunities. Coaching on those issues helped to reduced repeat call volume by 2 percent within three months. Its initial goal was to do so in three years.
  • A retailer relaunched its loyalty program to include product and experiential rewards. The program has now become one of the company's primary business drivers. Members average three times the spend of non-members.
  • A software company cleaned up its customer and prospect data, increasing lead accuracy. As a result, qualified leads increased by 12 percent and conversion rates have risen by 5 percent.
  • A professional sports team recognizes and rewards outstanding customer service in the moment, as well as encouraging guest feedback during and after games across multiple channels. As a result it reached a 2011 Net Promoter Score of 91.2 percent.
  • An e-commerce company invested heavily in agent hiring, training, and recognition. This helped the company increased its first-call resolution to 92 percent.
  • A technology firm enhanced its online self-service, which helped to decreased service request call volumes by 30 percent.

While I have to keep these companies' names a secret for now, their approach to business performance improvements is no secret: customer centricity. What that means for each organization is unique, but what is translates to for all of them is the same: success.

1to1 will reveal all 12 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Award - Americas region winners and their full stories on March 14, after the awards ceremony at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit. In the meantime, if you work at a customer-centric EMEA-based company, there's still time to nominate your company for a 2012 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Award - EMEA region.