April 13, 2022

Common challenges businesses face in being customer-centric

minute read

Customer-centric businesses are  60% more profitable than those who aren’t, and yet achieving customer-centricity can be a challenge for some businesses. Read ahead to learn what might be keeping your businesses from becoming customer-centric.

There has been ongoing debate regarding customer-centricity, especially for direct-to-customer (DTC), e-commerce, and retail businesses. Today's consumers are better informed than ever, and as a result businesses must focus less on their products and more on the customer experience. A recent Gartner report pointed out that 81% of marketers primarily compete based on customer experience. As such, businesses should focus on implementing customer-centric strategies that improve experiences and drive customer satisfaction.

What does a customer-centric strategy look like?

Customer-centric strategies are all about elevating the customer experience. Your business should put customers at the forefront in everything. This is an essential business practice critical to survival in today's dynamic age of retail. Businesses that deploy a customer-centric strategy focus on the customers that deliver the greatest value rather than provide experiences that cater to their entire audience. A customer-centric strategy requires commitment, coordination, and the right technology. Likewise, your business should be ready to elevate experiences during every stage of the customer lifecycle.

What is the impact of customer-centricity?

Customers should be at the heart of your business strategy directing and informing marketing, product, and services. . Focusing on creating a positive customer experience helps your business boost employee engagement, generate more profit, and guarantee customer satisfaction.

Customer-centric DTC, e-commerce, and retail businesses gain resiliency and sustainability by creating positive customer experiences. This goes a long way in reducing the churn rates of your existing customers and acquiring new ones.

Barriers to customer-centricity

In the pursuit of profit, businesses can  forget about their customers. Often, this leads to poor quality of customer service, high churn rates, and a significant lack of customer satisfaction. To overcome these challenges in achieving customer-centricity, you must first understand the pitfalls that many businesses encounter.

Siloed customer databases

Arguably, data silos are the most significant challenge in becoming customer-centric. Many businesses have functional silos that hamper data sharing, preventing them from creating a unified customer view that can assist staff in creating the kind of customer-centric experiences that excite and delight.  For a business to become customer-centric, teams must share data and insights seamlessly to get a clear picture of the customer experience.

You can prevent data siloing by embracing customer communication solutions that aggregate data and conversions to streamline customer communication. Consolidating your customer databases, especially those you use in managing customer communication, is fundamental to making your business more customer-centric.

Failing to empower staff to elevate the customer experience

Your business’'s customer experience is only as good as its customer-facing employees. A considerable barrier to becoming customer-centric is having employees who aren't empowered to provide customers with the high-value experiences they’re looking for. Since customer-facing employees often get inundated with endless questions and other repetitive tasks, they should learn to maintain unmatched customer experiences regardless of shifting behaviors and demands. This is key to your business becoming customer-centric.

The excellent solution to this barrier is embracing automation to free up your business’ human resources. For instance, automating your customer support inquiries can help your business become more proactive in addressing customer queries, making workflows more efficient. When deployed effectively your customer service team will focus on understanding clients' needs, providing a more elevated customer experience.

Inflexible technological solutions

Technology is an indispensable component of many modern businesses, especially those that wish to become customer-centric. However, not all technological tools are created equal, and some could act as a stumbling block, especially if it's inflexible. When launching new solutions, you should first test their impact on customer experiences.

To prevent the inflexibility you need to develop a case for your modernization efforts. Ask whether making your systems more agile would benefit your customers, making the business more customer-centric. The benefits should manifest through better customer experiences, higher product quality, and reduced cost.

Typically, the decision to upgrade your tech solutions stems from various factors. Regardless of your objectives, ensure the tools you deploy are flexible, deliver value, and guarantee the expected ROI.

Failure to understand your customers

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is confusing market research with customer research. These two concepts may seem similar, but they differ. Market research entails grouping your customers into large categories, while customer research helps you understand your customers as individuals, focusing on the behaviors of those who deliver the most value to your business.

Failure to understand your company's customers as individuals is a common roadblock to businesses becoming customer-centric. With it comes the risk of overlooking individual customers and niche audiences by focusing on the largest customer segments. As a result, customer experiences can lack personalization which may directly harm retention rates and increase churn.

Mapping each customer's journey can give you a clear picture of their needs. By understanding high-value customers' needs and addressing them, you’ll create engaging and personalized experiences that keep your customers coming back for more.

Being solely task-oriented

Focusing on your tasks or products rather than customer experiences can hinder your business’ efforts to become customer-centric. For this reason, ensure your teams focus on service quality rather than task completion. Looming deadlines and the consequent pressure from c-suite executives often compels employees to focus on completing tasks. However, the focus should be on creating products and experiences that satisfy customer needs.

It's also essential to remember that attaining and maintaining customer centricity is an endless journey. With customer needs and behaviors evolving by the day, failure to meet changing expectations means you could be losing out to your competitors. Therefore, focusing on what your customers need puts you ahead of the competition and directly aids in growing your business.

Overcome the challenges of becoming customer-centric with Lexer's CDXP

Being customer-centric gives your business the edge to rise above the competition and improve performance across the board.. But in order to achieve customer-centrcity you’ll need software solutions that help you know and meet the growing demands of your customers—Lexer’s Customer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP) is that solution. Built for retail, Lexer is a CDXP of choice for leading retailers like Supergoop, Rip Curl, Quicksilver, Sur La Table, Motherhood and many more.  Lexer streamlines your business’ operations by providing insights into who your customers are and the experiences that they desire.

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Conner Jones
Marketing Content Manager
As a Marketing Content Manager, Conner utilizes his expertise in content development and strategy to help enhance awareness of the Lexer brand and better define the company voice. Conner finds energy and empowerment in telling the Lexer story whether that be through blog posts or in-depth marketing strategy playbooks.