Why customer centricity is a winning strategic angle for startups
Starting a business is usually the most creative, exciting and scary period in the life of an entrepreneur. Usually, it’s a time when ideas materialise and ambition is fuelling all energy reserves.
Customer centricity is a strategic angle to approach your business ambition. Whether you are putting together your annual plan or managing daily operations, here are some compelling reasons why the customer should always be at the heart of everything.
CUSTOMER NEEDS MAY CHANGE
Your product or service is solving one or more customers’ needs. Staying close to them to understand whether these needs have changed or whether they are still satisfied by your product or service, will keep you relevant and on a growth track.
BRAND DEAFNESS IS HURTING YOUR BOTTOMLINE
Your brand might be nice and your brand story nicer, but what do your customers say? Do they want to listen or don’t they care? If it’s the latter, maybe you’d be better off investing your marketing budget elsewhere. In any case, people do fall in love with a brand, but they stay married to a brand that knows them best; digital tools are making personalisation a commodity these days.
INVESTING IN YOUR SYSTEMS CAN BRING NO RETURN
In the era of tech solutions, it’s so easy to spontaneously invest in a new system or gig that promises to grow your customer acquisition as much as their case study, only to find out the hard way that unless your digital solutions and ecosystem is connected (not necessarily integrated), and the data structure is harmonised, then there is not much you can do. And throwing money out of the window is the last thing you can afford as a startup…
STRIVING FOR INFORMED DECISION MAKING
How do you know when a business decision is good or bad? Well, it’s not based on gut feeling! It’s important to know your numbers and performance indicators, but more important is to measure your growth ambition in realistic terms, act quickly on what is not working and amplify what is working, measure impact in pragmatic terms and not in made-up KPIs or reports that are generated from the systems you advertise in, and distinguish the external impact from your own business actions. When a company can calculate customer lifetime value, they also have the power to understand why their customers stick with them (or don’t!)
THE CUSTOMER OWNS THEIR EXPERIENCE
Contrary to popular belief, today’s way of life has empowered customers to make their own decisions and therefore, design their own experience! From the questions that they type on Google search, to the shows they choose to consume on YouTube and Netflix, to the shopping destinations (online, stores) and even the payment options (now or later), you should not try to design the user journey. Instead, embrace the beauty of not knowing what is the most frequent way for your customers to visit your store, discover your products and convert to purchase. Having a curious mentality will help you more.
That’s it! A short and sweet summary of why customer centricity is the winning strategic angle. If you would like to see this approach manifesting in value, just search for Nike’s amazing journey over the last few years, when they decided to invest more in data, direct-to-consumer and personalisation.