Customer Centric / Customer Driven Culture

In the competitive world of business, creating a business that puts customers first is crucial. Consumer power should not be underestimated, and customers will vote with their feet if they don’t feel valued by a brand. Consequently, it pays to create a customer-centric culture that is oriented towards the consumer.


In the competitive world of business, creating a business that puts customers first is crucial. Consumer power should not be underestimated, and customers will vote with their feet if they don’t feel valued by a brand.

Consequently, it pays to create a customer-centric culture that is oriented towards the consumer. But what exactly is customer-driven culture, why does it matter, and can you create one in your own business?

What is customer orientation?

Customer orientation refers to a business strategy that emphasizes customers over all else. It’s about helping customers fulfill their needs and desires.

Rather than focusing on competitors or other extraneous factors, customer orientation prioritizes customer (or client) satisfaction, both during a transaction and beyond.

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Why a customer-centric culture matters

For businesses wanting to get ahead, creating a customer-centric culture is vital. In fact, research by Deloitte and Touche found that customer-driven businesses were 60% more profitable than those without a customer orientation strategy in place.

Customer orientation creates a loyal customer community, and that pays dividends for your business. According to Temkin Group, loyal customers are five times as likely to repeat purchase, seven times as likely to buy a new product, and four times as likely to recommend a friend or family member.

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And a customer-centric culture doesn’t just benefit your sales figures either — it also benefits your employees too. A study by SurveyMonkey found that employees that work in a company that values its customer also feel valued too. Staff who feel that their employer values its customers are twice as likely to want to work for them in two years than those that don’t.

The studies above highlight the importance of a customer-centric culture for businesses. Implementing a customer orientation strategy has significant, tangible results for companies. Its success is measurable and delivers a real boon to customer- or client-facing businesses.

Customer-driven marketing strategies

Meet customer needs — whether B2C or B2B

Customer orientation is all about meeting customer needs, both through your overall business and through your products and/or services. Consult the members of your target audience and use their comments and feedback to focus on adding features (such as free delivery or easy returns) that will enhance their customer experiences.

Additionally, if you’re operating in the B2B sphere, consider ABM, or account-based marketing — essentially creating a fresh strategy for every prospective customer, made possible through custom viewer-specific storefronts and a lot of research.

B2B is no less customer-oriented than B2C markets — in some instances, there might even be a need for an enhanced customer-centric approach for B2B markets when you are speaking to savvy decision makers and hard-to-impress business leaders.

Everything you do, from ecommerce sales to storefront and website branding, must be appropriate to your specific customer segment(s).

Collect customer feedback

Customer feedback is vital for developing a customer-centric business culture. Use feedback from your customers to fine-tune your strategy and gear it towards consumer needs.

This is ideal for collecting genuine, honest insight into how you are currently performing, rather than relying on assumptions. Use surveys to source feedback and let your customers know that you are actively using their input to improve your business and put them first.

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Encourage customer referrals

Referrals are a great way to build a customer-driven culture. Encourage your current customers to tell their friends and family about your business through word-of-mouth.

Referral programs can help you with this. As well as providing your existing customers with an incentive to recommend your brand (such as a discount or free sample), referral programs also let you quantify your customer orientation strategy.

Nurture loyalty through rewards

A customer-centric culture is built on consumer loyalty. This generates repeat sales and recommendations, as well as building a strong customer community.

A reward program is a great way of fostering this. Give customers points with every purchase that they can collect for money off a later purchase. Complement this with free samples, discount codes, and personalized marketing that makes your customers feel valued.

Use language that reassures your customers

The way that brands interact with their customers plays a big role in creating a customer-centric culture. If customers are treated as human beings rather than just a number, they will feel more engaged with a business as a result.

Use language that shows customers they are valued — thank them for their input and acknowledging their issues. Language goes a long way towards showing customers that they are your prime concern.

Customer focus examples

  • Tech giant Microsoft has made a conscious change to put customers at the heart of its culture. Rather than pleasing shareholders, the brand is looking at improving customer satisfaction by creating products that consumers will love.
  • Video game brand Electronic Arts (EA) has implemented a number of changes in recent years that put customer happiness over profits. EA removed the online fee added to second-hand games and offered a money-back guarantee for its PC games (often prone to glitches).
  • Fast food giant McDonald’s discovered that its customers were seeking ethical, organic practices when it came to what they ate. From antibiotic-free chicken to milk free from artificial hormones, McDonald’s now puts customer tastes first as part of its business strategy.

Customer focus quotes to inspire you

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

Jeff Bezos

“The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy.”

Dharmesh Shah

“Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on the customer.”

Scott Cook.

“Every company’s greatest assets are its customers because without customers there is no company.”

Michael LeBoeuf

“We have entered the era of the customer. Today, providing customers with outstanding customer service is essential to building loyal customers and a long-lasting brand.”

Jerry Gregoire

“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”

Seth Godin

“If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.”

Jeff Bezos

“The customer’s perception is your reality.”

Kate Zabriskie.

“Revolve your world around the customer and more customers will revolve around you.”

Heather Williams

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