Gartner predicts that, by 2020, poor customer experiences will destroy 30% of digital business projects. Will yours be one of them? What does it mean to be customer centric?
Customer-centric organizations understand the unique problems and expectations of their customers as well as the context of those needs. They then consistently deliver products and services that meet those expectations.
You must win at every interaction the customer has with your organization
The pace of technology innovation has accelerated and is empowering people. Customers, users and employees expect more, complain more, are more willing to switch suppliers or employers — and share far more about their experiences. "Your business results depend on your brand's ability to retain and add customers," says Olive Huang, Research Director at Gartner.
"You must win at every interaction the customer has with your organization, whether that be a marketing campaign, a call to a contact center, an invoice, or a delivery reliant on the supply chain. Every department must play its part in a coordinated fashion."
Not only have people become empowered by technology, but the next generation to enter the workforce — those born between 1995 and 2010 that represent 27% of the world population — has spending power. "They are less inclined to trust companies and brands, expect to be heard and involved, are quick to switch preferences, and seek out employers and brands that offer authentic and transparent experiences," adds Huang. Preference and purchase will be driven more by personalized experiences, trusted peer-to-peer information, and real-time delivery of information and services. These experiences are delivered through many channels — the web, mobile apps, contact centers and virtual personal/customer assistants, powered by AI.
"In order to deliver an adaptive customer experience you will need to increase real-time capabilities by absorbing and analyzing large volumes of data "on the move," and react quickly to unexpected business events," says Huang.
As organizations strive to become customer centric, Gartner has identified 10 common habits of organizations exercising customer centricity in the age of digital business.
The 10 habits of customer-centric organizations in the age of digital business
This article has been updated from the original, published on April 30, 2018, to reflect new events, conditions or research.