Everybody wants to be customer centric, but the actual realisation differs from company to company, so we learned from a qualitative pre-study realized by InSites Consulting for SAS. In a series of interviews with Marketing people we talked about the interpretation of customer centricity, taking into account the 3 axes: Customer Value, Customer Experience and Customer Life Cycle, as well as the role of data in these areas.
In the qualitative pre-stage 4 Marketing Managers in different companies were asked what their opinion was concerning the role of these components. Based on their input, the components were defined as follows:
- Customer Centricity: Putting the customer central in your long-term company vision as well as your daily processes (such as the products/services you offer, the way you communicate, the channels you use) in order to strengthen the relationship with your customer
- Customer Experience: The sum of all experiences or interactions a customer has with a company, both online and offline
- Customer Value: The total value of a customer, both actual and potential value, both directly and indirectly (referral value like promoting a company, the influence on social media)
- Customer Life Cycle: The (natural) evolution a customer goes through as defined by one or more aspects related to his or her needs (life stages, lifestyle and relationship with company)
The main conclusions of this preliminary survey are:
- Differences in the role of segmentation.
The roles attributed to a customer are very different from one company to another. There is a remarkable difference in the converging (aiming for fewer segments) and diverging (aiming for more segments) approach when segmenting the customer population.
- Importance of social media as extra source to enrich the databases.
Apart from focussing on the actual value of a customer, companies are also focussing more and more on the value of a consumer’s network. Social Media Analytics, which maps the influence reach of consumers, win in importance in comparison with the more traditional methods.
- Customer centricity and customer retention go hand in hand.
The extent to which companies focus on customer centricity seems to depend on trends. When working on customer retention, there is more focus on the customer in a company’s long term vision. When customer acquisition gains in importance, the short term customer values become more important.
- The company culture is more decisive than the tools & methods.
These days, companies have a lot more (database) information and tools at their disposal to generate insights which can help them to be more customer-centric. However the chances of success are triggered by an open company culture and the involvement of the employees.
In the sequel of this survey SAS will measure how companies deal with customer centricity and the role of data, taking into account the three axes: Customer Experience, Customer Value and Customer Life Cycle. Interested to know how your company is doing? Click here to open the survey! The results of the survey will be summarized by SAS in a white paper.