by Anja Eimer

customer centricity and journey design – the customer at the heart of everything

What does it mean to be customer-centric? How can we create a successful customer journey? What does customer-centricity mean for businesses? And what role does digitalization play in journey design? The secret is: When it comes to customer centricity, digitalization is challenge and key in one. The question is, how retailers can really put customer wishes at the heart of their business.

key takeaways

  • A company needs to approach everything it does with the customer as the starting point

 

  • Use consumer engagement to understand precisely what your customers want and then offer it to them via the channel of their choice

 

  • The entire wholesale and service structure is finely tuned to deliver a truly customer-centric experience

the challenge: the “touchpoint-jumper”  

Think about your own customer journey. You see a product in a physical store, you inform yourself at home via web pages, maybe you use apps, afterward you go back to the retail store or better go online again? You are a touchpoint jumper! You jump between different touchpoints while passing through the different stages from awareness to purchase. That’s just ordinary. But think about what this means for a business: First of all, a lot of organization. The biggest challenge lies in the complexity of interlinking changing customer needs across physical and digital channels and the business structure. Customers have to change demands, as well as changing behaviors – they access a greater number of digital touchpoints.

 

the key: phygital 

But digitalization does not only lead to more complexity and therefore more organization – it also offers the solution for that. A key advantage of the digital age is the ability to use data to drive activity and customer journey management. It is easier than ever to capture data and analyze the customers’ behavior – the basis for a successful customer journey. But be careful. Not all customers prefer digital touchpoints. You need to integrate physical and digital touchpoints. “Phygital” is key!

 

learn from the best: some customer-centric approaches

 

Here are some of the features of Apple, or Amazon, which demonstrate the customer-centric approach:  

  • All customer touchpoints provide the same customer experience
  • The customer has full transparency on pricing – this wins trust!
  • The customer has one single ID for all touchpoints
  • All processes are optimized to enhance customer convenience
  • An innate understanding of consumer behavior creates an effortless customer experience

 

add value through customer experience

The aim of the customer-centric model and managing customer journeys is to enhance the customer experience at every touchpoint thereby driving decisions and enhancing customer loyalty. A customer-centric approach adds value to a business through delivery of a differentiated customer experience. Apple and Amazon provide inspiration and examples – your business can do it too. 

 

The complete article is also published on LinkedIn.

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expert
Michael Erz is partner at rpc – The Retail Performance Company and heads the consulting division.
Michael Erz
Partner
 
about
Leading rpc’s consulting division, Michael Erz has been integral to establishing and growing our consulting and business technology services since 2013. His broad skillset ranges from sales strategy support to design and optimization of business models
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