Customer centricity is more than a buzzword It is a big business trend in 2016. That does not mean that it’s not a buzzword. Simply put it is the rare buzzword unicorn, both a meaningful phrase and an important part of business in 2016.
Many major corporations are focusing on the customers experiences that surpass traditional norms. Social media has given customers the power to do everything from praising a brand to writing angry songs that cut into a brands market share; all in real time. Let us take a look at some major companies and how they are embracing this current trend.
Food for thought- brands that embrace customer centricity
Some major brands in the food industry are focusing on the customer in new ways and seeing the benefits in big ways. McDonald’s is a major player in the food game, with franchises both in the states and around the globe. By listening in to the social media chatter, McDonalds has observed what customers want and have implemented changes such as antibiotic-free chicken and hormone-free beef. It was also social media feedback which made McDonalds decide to expand their all-day breakfast options to the Gold Coast. Competitor Shake Shack also knows the power of social media and has encouraged staff to douse customer complaints by being “charitable” in a way that leaves the customer in a state of surprise at how well their complaints were addressed. Grocery stores also are getting in on the customer centricity trend. UK-based food retailer ASDA decided to forego a Black Friday sale, instead opting to offer seasonal discounts which don’t lock the customer into shopping on a given day to enjoy the discounts.
Social listening can yield genius campaign ideas
Outdoor products retailer REI also decided to forego a Black Friday sale. Their stores stayed closed on Black Friday while both customers and staff alike were encouraged to “#OptOutside” with their friends and family. Their hashtag was part of a brand-wide social media campaign; the result of many people taking to social media to express their disdain for the annual shopping event. It’s no surprise that social media giant Facebook is also in on the push for greater customer centricity. Following the Paris terror attacks, Facebook created a new feature allowing users to let family and friends know they’re safe. And computer industry heavyweight IBM is also following suit; offering what they’ve coined “IBM Design Thinking”- a new means of allowing customer demands and feedback to help guide the development of future products. Meanwhile, bookkeeping tools publisher Intuit has begun a similar initiative called “Design for Delight” which also draws from customers to create new product features.
Bringing fandom into to the digital domain
AS Roma, a major soccer club, responded to fans demands for more content by offering a new website designed with customer centricity in mind. The newly redeveloped site offers a wide range of features and content that social media had revealed fans were wanting. Gaming giant EA Sports has also offered digital perks that customers had been asking for, such as allowing refunds for PC games and waiving an online fee after seeing many customers complaining about social media. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision has responded to the desire from fans for more mobile-based content; to the extent that they’ve begun a new approach which they call “mobile first”.
The age-old adage that “the customer is always right” has taken on a new dimension with the rise of social media and its power to influence consumer trends. These are just 10 examples of the many companies who recognize the value of taking a customer-centric approach in today’s market.