The customer-centric approach is nothing new. This is one of the oldest ways businesses did their marketing. At a time when the radius of a single neighborhood constrained the seller-buyer relationship, this is the kind of relationship they had. The focus is on creating a product that best fits a customer’s needs.
A company with a product-centric approach, on the other hand, focuses on creating the best product there is in the market. Take Apple, for example. It produces what is arguably the best smartphone in the market. Every year, the company focuses on improving the features and specifications of its phones.
Before you beg the question about which is better, here is a deeper look into the two approaches.
The Goal of a Customer-Centric Approach
You believe that each relationship you build with every customer matters with a customer-centric approach. Focusing on every relationship moves you toward having highly valuable customers.
You employ a customer-centric approach in marketing if you believe that providing the best experience for each customer is key to driving sales. Your goal is to provide the customer with the best customer service possible. But how does your business become more customer-centric?
Ways You Become Customer-Centric
- Identify your customers’ needs.
This has become easier over the years, especially after developing analytics tools for e-commerce. When these tools were non-existent, there was no way for companies to take note of the customers’ needs other than giving away customer satisfaction surveys.
- Create a solution to the pain points
Using the data you have on the existing pain points of your customers, you have to create a solution. For example, a percentage of your customers are from the older population who don’t have access to digital modes of payments. One solution is investing in multiple payment options for your physical stores. That way, your customers can pay with whatever mode they wish, such as cash.
- Involve the customers in the process of making solutions
When updating your products or services, you also consider your customers. What are they saying about your products? It’s easy to discover this, especially online.
A great example is Starbucks. It once launched a campaign where customers can log in to submit ideas about how Starbucks can make better products and improve their customer service. Together with Starbucks employees, customers participate in polls. Starbucks even had a leaderboard and tracked which customers were the most active.
This was back when businesses started establishing the online realm as a bridge to customers. The campaign was successful as a crowdsourcing tool and building an online community.
The Goal of a Product-Centric Approach
A business with a product-centric approach believes that product superiority is what matters. To achieve this, enterprises devote their resources to developing the best product ever made in the market. This is a common approach in the software world.
Software companies focus on overtaking and disrupting the existing because this is their way of securing the market share. Because as far as the tech world is concerned, the company that provides the most features is considered the best platform. A video conferencing platform with no limits in participants will garner more market share than a video platform.
Obviously, this approach doesn’t bank on the needs of the customers. Sometimes, it’s the product that creates a market. When phones weren’t equipped with fingerprint sensors yet, people didn’t realize they needed an added layer of security in their mobile devices. How do you transition your business toward being more product-centric?
Ways You Become Product-Centric
- Evaluate your own products
You have to invest heavily in product development. Look at what you are currently offering and assess which features you can improve. Is it your product’s functionality? Is it the design? Think of yourself as your competition.
- Evaluate your competitor
Since you are fighting for the number one spot in the market, you have to figure out if what you are doing is right. Competition research will provide you with precious data on how you can be one step ahead of the existing players in the game. What do your competitors have that you don’t? What is their weakness?
- Reward competence
You can launch an internal incentive program to keep the fresh ideas flowing. Such programs help with workplace productivity. Why not utilize it to make sure that your products remain number 1?
Both these approaches are vital to growing your business. To decide which one you should be using, you must understand what you can offer as a business. These two approaches will afford you different benefits, and it’s essential to know them to aid your decision-making.