- Customer centricity is not just about offering great customer service, but about fostering a positive customer experience at every stage of the journey
- Customer Relationship Management software can deliver deep insights into customer behaviour like customer purchasing history and preferences, providing a 360-degree view of customers.
- Realtime insights can allow you to forecast behaviour to better serve your customers
- Personalisation is not a nice to have but a must-have – expected by the majority of customers.
- Adopt self-service portals to give your customers access to their information.
“The customer is king” gets used all too often in business conversations. Successful business owners are quick to recognise the truth behind this cliché and strive to put customer needs at the centre of how they operate. However, for this to become reality, the business needs to be in tune with the changing needs of its customers. As businesses face increasingly borderless and fast-paced competition, customer-centricity is no longer a “nice to have” but essential to every business’ strategy. Here’s why:
Deeper customer insights
To be truly customer-centric, businesses need to know their customers intimately. Who are they and what they are thinking, and how are they buying? Today’s customer relationship management (CRM) software can collect data like purchasing history and preferences, providing a 360-degree view of customers. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, on the other hand, integrates this data with the entire business, enabling holistic decision-making.
When combined with analytics, businesses can gain a more in-depth understanding of their customers’ behaviour which, in turn, can allow them to serve their target market more efficiently, more effectively, and with higher engagement. Today, Cloud-based ERP tools often use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to harness historical data and achieve deeper insights at a range of touchpoints. With more detailed customer insights, businesses can target their products and campaigns to the correct segment group for better results – providing the right products, at the best price to customers when they need it most.
Forecasting and prediction
With real-time visibility and instant access to sales and inventory data, decision-makers from across the business – whether the front or back office – can better forecast and predict demand for the future. With information like order history, first-time purchases, repeat purchases and even the behaviours of inactive customers, AI tools like predictive analytics can be used to determine the next best action to inform business strategies.
When front and back offices work together using common ERP platforms, analytics and AI, every department from sales and warehousing to marketing, can view and interpret data like sales pipeline and customer demand. A seamless flow of information, accessed in real-time and with full visibility for all, will help to forecast goods and services demand more accurately, ensure the people and skills are ready to fulfil demand, and ultimately set and meet customer expectations.
Companies wishing to attract and retain digitally advanced customers must go to even greater lengths to offer exceptional service, which can be enabled by a robust ERP system. A self-service customer portal is a good example – but to work effectively, it needs to not only reduce costs for a business, but also deliver a high-quality, high-touch, and intuitive experience for users.
Self-service platforms aim to ensure a seamless customer experience when updating their own profiles, viewing their order histories, checking their order status and placing new orders at any time – actions that they perform on a regular basis. Self-service channels should also provide intuitive and on-the-spot access to human support contact when required, as well as other resources like FAQs, how-to guides, and tutorials. It’s worth remembering that self-service channels cannot replace the customer experience entirely – they perform best when they are complemented by human-to-human interaction.
Customer centricity is not just about offering great customer service, but about fostering a positive customer experience at every stage of the journey, from awareness to purchase to post-sales service. Integrated cloud ERP can provide the foundation to ensure customer satisfaction through greater understanding of their needs. But, as businesses compete for new customers, improve their relationships with suppliers, and focus on the organisation’s growth, it pays to ensure that both the technology and the organisational values – not just one or the other – align. This will enable businesses of any size, and at any pace of growth to build relationships that make customers feel valued – and keep them coming back again and again.