Perspectives

Customer-centric cultures are no longer negotiable

Article by Maxine Van Zijl | PS Social Media Manager
Artwork by Samantha Rose | PS Digital Designer

If you have a strong brand identity, a worthy product and various USPs, that’s great. However, the biggest differentiator between you and your competitors often comes down to customer-centricity.

If companies got away with poor experiences in the past, it’s simply not tolerated anymore. As the years have passed, consumers have become acutely aware of brands that care, and considering they’re spoiled for choice, are more comfortable with ditching inadequate service standards.

Customer-centric cultures are no longer negotiable, and here’s why.

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The Customer is always right.

In 1999, Mike Lazaridis created a piece of technology that would ultimately revolutionise the way people worked. The BlackBerry was a phone so successful that it had almost half of the US market by 2009. However, the brand’s eventual demise was caused because Lazaridis didn’t listen to what his customers wanted.

While Apple launched its first touch-screen mobile phone, Lazaridis stood by his belief that customers would remain loyal, ignoring the fact that the mobile keyboard was quickly becoming outdated and that new features were far more appealing. The result? Well, by 2014, BlackBerry’s market share had dropped to 1%.

There is much we can learn from the people who use our products daily, and the power of this insight is certainly undervalued. This story is living proof that customers should be placed in the centre of all business decisions, and that the results of not doing so can destroy even the most revolutionary ideas.

More opportunities exist for those who are open to them.

As the years have gone by, personalisation and positive experiences have become integral elements of a successful business, and who better to define what that entails other than your customers? You may have a good idea of where improvements can be made, but there is much value in acquiring information directly from the source.

In fact, according to Deloitte, customer-centric businesses are 60% more profitable, proving just how much we can benefit from our customer’s guidance.

The post-pandemic environment has also empowered customers to be more selective about where they choose to invest. So, making sure your website offers a seamless experience or prioritising customer service can make a significant difference to your bottom line. All it takes is the willingness to listen.

Small businesses have a place to compete. 

While some of us live, breathe and eat customer-centricity, too many businesses out there don’t. Surprisingly, some corporations will spend thousands on SEO and beautiful websites but lose sales because they don’t respond to their customer’s website enquiries.

Interestingly, this behaviour has left the podium open for small businesses to compete with larger competitors. Due to their size, small companies can easily pivot their business plans based on customer feedback, and in doing so, can secure long-term customer loyalty.

A business may rank number one on Google, but if showing up when consumers search for you is your only USP (unique selling proposition), there isn’t much cause for loyalty. Instead, customers want to know that your values align with theirs, that they have a voice and that they are supported.

To conclude,

At Platinum Seed, we approach every task, campaign and project with the client, and their clients, in mind. Over time, we’ve updated internal processes based on customer feedback, we’ve streamlined mutually beneficial ways of working and created surveys to ensure we’re always aware of potential improvements.

As a result, our clients feel they can trust us, and therefore, give us the freedom we need to create the incredible brand adventures that we do. At the end of the day, we’ve been able to maintain stronger, longer-term relationships with our clients.