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It is a broader notion or the next evolutionary stage of client relationship management approach.
A customer-centric organization is defined as the one, offering long-term constant and consistent best quality experience to clients 'over all customer access points; across all marketing, sales, and service programs; throughout all parts of the organization.' As can be clearly inferred from this definition, the product will vary over time to satisfy evolving clients needs, but the staff of the company must be adequately train to offer best quality service no matter what product it offers to the clients: at the access points, at the logistics offering optimal time of the service or delivering a product, and after sales servicing to motivate another purchase.
There are certain steps within building such organization. The first phase of collecting and analyzing client database corresponds to the first phase of client relationship management and calls for clear understanding of customer needs and their segmentation according to this, foreseeing changes in future needs and possible shifts of customers to different segments, and currently adjusting the assortment of products and services offered to be able to match in the near future the changed demand of each customer segment. Nevertheless, the companies must not provide equal quality services to all the customers, client managers based on collected customer information, must be able to distinguish the most valuable and profitable clients to the company and Stefanous even suggest developing 'customer-specific strategies'.
Customer centric organization trains each employee to treat each customer to serve his best needs and staff that directly communicate with the clients must strive to become their personal trusted advisors or the like, which can be the result of successful creating of customer centric culture within organization. Promotion campaigns shift from product and services oriented to purely customer desired centric. Even if the top management of the company invests heavily into updating technological support of customer centric organization and data storing, analysis, without training staff and setting the corporate mission at servicing the customer in best possible way, the success will not be as strong. With each employee understanding the importance of customer loyalty to the organization, will the staff of different departments will optimally use the precious client information available within the company. The organization must become not only efficient by minimizing costs, but effective; not only managing internal company environment, but being capable of managing and predicting external atmosphere; tailoring the products to meet the challenges of evolving markets.
Building customer centric organization focusing on retaining the customers is classified as defensive marketing strategy, where gaining new customers and motivating switching from rival companies is referred to as offensive strategies. Not until recently, companies were aiming to optimally combine the two, but obstacles exist and many corporations have shifted to implementing purely defensive strategy due to tightening competitions in the markets.
In order to measure externally the performance of customer centric organization, it is necessary to benchmark its clientele retention and satisfaction rates with those of the competitors offering similar products. To measure the customer loyalty internally to the company, the methods include surveys of customer satisfaction, call reports, analysis and feedback for customer complaints, customer scorecards. Financial performance measures such as sales to each customer and years worked with the customer are only a part of full customer satisfaction and must be monitored in couple with methods stated herein.
Analyzing and listening to the customers is an meaningful, but still initial step to fully satisfy them. In order for the company to succeed, it must constantly improve its' operations and react to the customer attitudes, also, circulating to the customers and showing them the results of the company reaction to the customer attitudes.
In summary, after customer segmentation and analysis, the actions or the feedback of the company must be phased as follows. The company must increase the number of the customers which it has discovered bring the highest value to the company. By perfecting the four cores of classic marketing mix, the price, product, distribution and promotion, the company can win new customers of desired profitable segments. Extrapolating from this, the company staff must increase the revenues and sales achieved from these segments by diversifying the assortment of sales, their volumes, and doing both at ones. Thus, the demand must be constantly stimulated. Then, the company must follow the tactics of reducing the costs of servicing these clients and achieving these sales, by optimizing administrative and management costs, distribution and communication and the like. The quality of the products and services offered must nevertheless remain the same.
The next step, or more better described, the next process is to grow the customer loyalty to the company by achieving higher satisfaction rates by constantly improving the services offered. The final step to creation of a wise customer centric organization is to minimize the costs of acquiring new customers within the favourable client segment by improving assortment and using resources more efficiently. As can be observed from all these steps, the major difference from a company employing product oriented strategy, is that the latter attempts to out perform the rivals by the product and speed of logistics and knowing their weaknesses, and optimizing the marketing mix. On the other hand, customer centric organization unites market research with company strategy formulation and each department planning, and then implements this to satisfy the needs of the customers, rather than finding the customers for the products which it produces. Also, the customer oriented organization instead of optimizing marketing mix, choose the most appropriate team of professionals to serve specific customer needs adequately. Instead of circulating to the customers offers with new products, the company entitles client manager to contact and monitor the wishes and adopt the services offered.
Creation of customer centric organization and remuneration of the stages involved in deep customer analysis and satisfaction process, it is evident that the product and services the company have become as important as the quality of staff the company has. It will depend on the skills of the employees to be able to precisely estimate the needs of the clients through direct communication with them, analyze these needs thoroughly employing human capital rather than technical support, be able to translate to senior management the shifts in these needs. The organization must be studied carefully by the professionals to develop optimal transition order into customer centric organization and training employees sufficiently. Top management in their turn will have to take necessary steps to adopt the whole business process, or the company structure to shift the production, invest into innovation of necessary products and manage this very customer satisfaction process. Key to success of this whole process becomes not only the product/services, it is one third of the success. It becomes the quality of the services by the staff, or the impression from direct communication, and differentiation of this from the rivals. The staff at all corporate levels must be motivated sufficiently to perform their best to serve customer needs. In product oriented businesses, the quality of the people does not matter that much as the product is what drives the revenues and profits and acts as a magnit to the customers. But as the number of suppliers offering similar products increases, it is the satisfaction of the customers with the total process of being served what matters to company success. This has lead to development of a theory mentioned above about growing significance of human capital for the company. For this reason, the importance of top management being able to work out and adopt perfect employee remuneration system becomes vital for the companies.
As defined above, quality staff or the quality of the company human capital is a success factor for long-term effective customer centric enterprise development. Also, effectiveness of company performance is a multi-layer architecture, consisting of financial, psychological and productivity angle. The company must invest heavily to make the staff at all levels be devoted to this company vision and ensure the staff clearly understands the specific needs and tastes of the clients and clients segments. For this reason, it becomes very costly for the company to lose staff and train new staff to the company practices and clients tastes. A study from Walker information targeted on employee and clientele satisfaction revealed, that though out of the surveyed employees 75% declared they were rather satisfied with their work, only 30% of them could consider themselves loyal to their companies, approximately 30% were looking for outside job better opportunities and the remaining said they remained with this company and this position because of some circumstances. Loyal customer are different from the other as they are working for the company and moving to better opportunities because these employees choose…[continue]
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