Internal processes are measured by many B2B vendors and supply chains, but external processes are not frequently controlled. A product or service-centered strategy is used by sales departments, indicating that the most important decisions they make revolve around what they have to provide in order to increase sales.
Tracking consumers’ buying patterns generally starts and ends with how often they purchase, the kinds of products they buy, and how their order history progresses. Data of this sort is useful, but it doesn’t provide us information on our customers’ emotional well-being and our relationships with our customers, which means there is still room for improvement.
While it may appear simple and straightforward on the surface, comprehending your customer’s perspective needs well-defined processes that begin with supply chain management and finish with the delivery driver.
If these procedures are well-honed, your consumers will come back, spend more on your goods, and tell everyone about your business. Furthermore, the statistics doesn’t contradict, as customer-focused approach on supply chains are outperforming their rivals on all fronts:
Customer-focused brand : How to improve your customer-focused approach
A customer-focused brand prioritises the customer experience over all other considerations. It entails optimising each client touchpoint, whether pre-, during, or after the transaction, to achieve complete customer pleasure at all times. We’ll examine six techniques that supply chains and business-to-business (B2B) firms may employ to strengthen their customer-centric approach.
Establish a customer-focused business culture
Developing a customer culture requires a concerted effort that begins at the top of the business – more precisely, with management.
A strong customer focus is facilitated by rules and technology that make it simple for workers to develop relationships with customers. Each member of the team must understand how their jobs impact the customer experience and how their behaviours foster customer engagement and loyalty.
- Appoint your leader
To be customer-centric, a business must first have customer-centric leadership. This is typically outsourced to a CCO (chief customer officer), who is accountable for the organization’s customer-centric initiatives and processes.
Customer officers serve as champions for customers, communicating developments related to customer issues and identifying opportunities to enhance the customer journey map.
- Think out-of-the-box
Engage customers beyond just listening to their comments. Help your workers recognise how they may respond proactively to what consumers enjoy, value, and appreciate in response.
Start brainstorming sessions to develop ideas by bouncing ideas off of one other. The plan you’ve established might incorporate aspects like customization choices, promotions, or a different approach to customer care, all of which is aided by a CRM system.
- Break-down silos
To effectively deliver value, you must know your company’s sales trajectory, marketing strategy and consumer preferences. You’ll get full insight into your operations by exchanging data with CRM, WHM, eCommerce, ERP, accounting, procurement and other platforms. The inverse is also true; when you don’t know these important business procedures, your ability to foster customer-centricity will be impaired.
- Invest more in technology
Technology is powering rising customer expectations. The percentage of our life we spend on our phones has increased, as has the importance of data-informed decision making to everything we do.
AI promises to remove significant work off of marketers, supply chain workers, and sales representatives’ shoulders. With advances in telecommuting, self-scheduling tools, and workers’ willingness to grant more autonomy, clients’ desires may be met, and sympathetic, proactive service can be provided.
- Customer-focused brand marketing strategy
When companies want to foster a customer-centric culture, they incentivize workers to go the additional mile to make consumers feel appreciated. Zappos encourages staff to empower themselves to do what they believe is in the customer’s best interest. Even the simplest gesture can work if your budget does not allow it.
In an interview, Martin Schulz of Airfocus claimed that the hotel puts a nice mat by the entrance every morning, every afternoon, and every evening. It reveals a lot to consumers who are looking to relax and disconnect from the stresses of their hectic daily life. It’s something they don’t receive elsewhere, which provides a secondary incentive for guests to return to the hotel.
Collect and share consumer data within the organization
Every company is distinct, and how it obtains consumer data will be different. The more data you have, the more customer-centric you can be. Think of your customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce platform, marketing automation technologies, and artificial intelligence chatbots as all working together to enhance and encourage more personal discussions.
Gather sales data
Shopping experiences are customised for every consumer based on their sales data. While the aforementioned indicators assess customer-centricity, other measures such the customer lifetime value, the net promoter score, and churn rate also aid in the measurement of customer-centricity. To effectively measure the opinions of your customers, connect your eCommerce and CRM systems together, and then share that data across departments so that everyone can comprehend how the consumer sees your business.
Customer segmentation is beneficial since it enables organisations to have a better knowledge of their market and consumers. Segmentation provides brands with an understanding of consumer involvement at a detailed level. Discovering untapped company possibilities, as well as assisting in making strategic decisions without inadvertently harming other consumer groups, is made possible by the use of this.
To keep the customer-focused approach, every stage of the customer experience must be closely watched and continuously modified. To discover consumer patterns, shifts in engagement, or places of friction, make a tight watch of customers’ travels. This can help create client loyalty over time, resulting in more referrals.
Customer-focus example : The usage of right tools
B2B communication expert GetVoIP managed to profit by putting attention on data in their customer-oriented strategy. The CRM helped the company acquire and analyse client data, which was then tied to email marketing and Google Analytics.
This allowed them to gain a unique understanding of consumer behaviour. These insights aided them in acquiring over 100,000 email subscribers, increasing site traffic, and increasing income.
Invest more in online channels to improve user experience
To be successful in customer-centric efforts, it is absolutely essential to understand your consumers’ motivations and objectives. The rising importance of online B2B sales is causing expectations for user experience to evolve and change as well. Whatever sector you’re in or who your consumers are, no matter how important the relationship is, the user experience is of critical importance.
B2B buyers search for more in a tailored suggestion or discount. Customized e-commerce self-service portals are of interest to businesses. Customized product catalogues, checkout preferences, and pricing are demanded by businesses. In addition to that, it cuts down on time and streamlines the process of buying or repurchasing the correct goods.
Transparency is about communicating to customers that the raw materials used in their products are sourced from sustainable sources. Essentially, it is about conveying critically important information at the appropriate moment. Customers have less cause to feel angry when out-of-stock products are indicated on product sites or provide approximate restocking or delivery timeframes. An ERP integration will assist in connecting your eCommerce site’s inventory data to your ERP system.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to customer service. It needs the correct customer service tools, providing staff freedom to deliver top-notch assistance, and putting in place methods to properly use those tools.
Customer-focused strategy : Offer better customer service
Some time ago, a firm signed an agreement with Growing Together eXponetnially, who ended up earning them $100,000 or more.
They had to overcome several obstacles in order to secure the contract, which took them 3 months to do. These hours were spent getting to know the company and talking to every representative of the sales staff and the top executives.
They made all these sacrifices on the basis of a commitment and belief that they would be selected for the contract. Ultimately, they were capable of developing a unique proposition that placed them among other contenders with more credibility.
Sell value, not price or products
Instead of trying to increase the price or decrease the amount of product, concentrate on how you provide value to customers. Salespeople have to keep adjusting the value they offer to each client and scenario in order to remain at the forefront of interactions with their customers.
Customers that are interested will want to know the product’s function, how it might assist them, and what the benefits of that aid will be, in terms of things like money, productivity, and quality of life.
Hear out your customers
The most important competitive edge in business is effective customer listening. Every customer-centric brand’s number one goal is to communicate and listen to consumer feedback frequently and consistently. Make client issues a priority at all times, even if it involves doing a survey, allotting time for one-on-one sessions, or having a social media account or an SMS line accessible for consumer input.
Once you have gathered enough consumer data and study, you will be able to see the exact desires of your clients. When it is in place, you can focus on every facet of your sales team’s activities to maximise client satisfaction. Not only does this provide opportunities for consumers to have fun, but it may also find strategies for achieving predictable results and using them again and again.
If businesses place consumers at the forefront, they know that a customer-centered presale inquiry holds immense power. And the questions you ask are just as important as the answers you give. Successful customer-facing employees aren’t simply out to make a sale but to better understand the customer’s position and provide them something they can appreciate.
Address the pain points
Help your sales team empathise with their customers while also offering solutions to the customer’s problems. This takes the finer point of touch, as it starts by pinpointing the many issues consumers encounter with on a daily basis while offering them with a solution that is advantageous to them.
Real-world examples of value-driven customer focus approaches
One retailer of listening equipment adopted a novel method to address its customers’ concerns.
Assistive Listening Headquarters took note. Because the features are jargon-laden, it is difficult for churches, museums, and educational institutions to select assistive listening equipment.
Many organisations are completely perplexed as to what equipment they actually require. First, they addressed this issue by developing in-depth guidelines tailored to all of these institutions. Then, for free consultations, they introduced a toll-free line. After they assist them, they are more than eager to purchase from their firm and suggest other consumers to them in the process.
Streamline your supply chain process
Customers are frequently interested in getting a reduced price, quicker delivery, and greater openness. Acting quickly to meet customers’ changing needs and providing them with the most up-to-date information on their deliveries are valuable differentiators, especially when it comes to goods leaving the warehouse, service centre, and when they arrive at the customer’s location.
In this case, “digitalization” is shorthand for “digital processes,” and technology like real-time tracking, enhanced analytics, and a higher degree of end-to-end visibility of all elements of fulfilment are referred to as “supply chain digitization.”
Product demand planning
Proper inventory management and product demand is dependent on a comprehensive examination of your sales history, transactional data, warehouses, suppliers, inventories as well as outside market trends. Your demand planning prediction must be revised if any of these components change.
Customer order management
Visibility into client orders assists eCommerce firms in determining how to fulfil them while keeping the customer in mind. Orders, for example, can be filled using each pick, case picking, piece picking or pallet picking. Each method’s advantages and downsides should be dynamically assessed and optimised for present state conditions.
The packaging and shipping operations can begin after an order has been finalised. Mismanagement of these stages might have a detrimental influence on the customer experience. Your systems must retain a flawless SKU numbering system, as well as a precise picking procedure that gets the item sent to its end location as soon as feasible.
Multiple channels for fulfillment
The “omnichannel marketing, a new strategy which is affecting not just the customer experience but also the supply chain sector. The adoption of omnichannel supply chains by many big retailers has already begun, with many giving the option to purchase online and collect orders in person at a specified location.
By incorporating several simultaneous fulfilment routes, it becomes simpler to provide the speed and ease that customers have come to expect.
Customer-focus example : Personalization
Some businesses have taken customer-centricity to another level by incorporating it into their offering.
Shufti Pro, an AI-based firm, prioritized customer-centricity in order to provide a personalized experience to each and every consumer
Everything is configurable, from the trial plan to the solution integration and price plan. They saw an increase in leads as they drew the attention of numerous organizations in search of budgetary solutions. It also became a competitive advantage for them, as the ability to customize the whole product, from specifications to procedure to price, made them genuinely unique on the market.
Customers are far less likely to acquire amounts that providers want to supply at a certain moment, in the specific manner the supplier prefers. According to Tony Hines, author of Supply Chain Strategies, organisations must ensure that they provide their consumers with the “seven customer Vs”: value, volatility,volume, variety, velocity, visibility, variability, and virtuosity.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach that displays attention on customers. B2B sellers must concentrate on their corporate culture, data, user experience, customer retention, value, and supply chain architecture in order to succeed.
To put it another way, companies must not only look inward at their own customer-centricity but also include other entities in the supply chain network who have their customers’ best interests at heart. Brands will only be able to employ the collective focus, strategies, and activities that benefit the end consumer when they create a purpose for the project.