A customer-centric approach to business can often provide a competitive advantage, especially when your competitors do not offer the same kind of brand experience. The term ‘the customer is always right’ often springs to mind when thinking about adopting customer-centric approaches. You can almost visualise the notion of ‘the customer is always right’ as being split into 2 types of theories. One theory is that customers ought to be more empathetic with the difficulties businesses often face with operational synergies, after all, they too are employees and by now should be well aware of the implications associated with ‘managing activities and people’ – trust me it’s in a book. On the other side, one would be confident in assuming that surely the customer knows what’s best for them, especially if they are using the product or service. If the product or service does not satisfy customer expectations then something should be done about it and this is wholly business responsibility. Many a’ brand have adopted bad customer relationships for failure to weigh up factors such as cost efficiency versus customer satisfaction or any other combination of conflict-ions you can think of. However, customers are not always clued up on the pragmatic constraints associated with running a potentially successful business, nor do they care – they want what they paid for.
Whichever school of thought you choose, you can be certain that undoubtedly there lies an opportunity for businesses to learn from the most important link within their business environment – the customer, whose insights into product or service usability remains invaluable.
As the instigators of commerce, businesses’ have to engage in pragmatic approaches, essential for sustainable economic growth. Smart measuring and smart planning may help reduce financial risk but also adds constraints to how much businesses’ give in to customer demands. The challenge is to find a balance between satisfying business and customer needs. Organisations should continue to prioritize but always keep in mind that customers make everything they do meaningful. Therefore the customer-centric approach should be something which remains high up on the agenda, acting as a testimony to reliable business practices.