Customers today are spoiled for choice every time they look for products and services. To really make a mark and engage customers, marketers need to set their brands apart with unique selling propositions that they live up to and take seriously. If by 2020 Customer Experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator and 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, then customer centric companies are the way of the future.
Amazon – Taking Customer Centric to The Next Level
Being customer centric is part of Amazon’s (forgive the trekkie speak) ‘prime directives.’ Their goal is “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
The company has worked hard to cultivate a culture of staying one step ahead of every customer, and played well at guessing what every customer’s next steps would be. Amazon were one of the first big ecommerce platforms to implement product recommendations seamlessly and make create a truly customer centric experience.
They understand that their audience needs it to get easier and easier to make orders online, and with the launch of their ‘Dash’ buttons, they seem to be fast-moving towards that need.
ASDA – No more Black Friday Sale
Black friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving in Novermber, which marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Since 1932, it has been the day most major retailers in the United States open very early and offer promotional sales. Recently, Black Friday has become a big trend in the United Kingdom with a prediction of close to 5 billion pounds in sales.
So it was surprising to see the British supermarket and online retail chain ASDA decide not to have a Black Friday sale in 2015. The reason? Black Friday holds customers hostage to sales as dictated by retail chains. Black Friday comes at a time when people are usually at their most stretched financially, getting shoppers to spend their christmas budget weeks earlier than usual. This isn’t fair to customers, who face a serious lack of choices and extreme pressure to buy. Doing away with this sale is a great step for ASDA in the customer centric direction.
Wimbledon – Building a better Fan Experience
Wimbledon does one thing that almost no other tennis tournament has done before. As on 2012, The tennis series tied up with the tech giant IBM to create ‘Slamtracker’ an app that would change the way tennis fans engaged with the series. The goal was to ‘enhance the experience for tennis fans and increase efficiency during Wimbledon’ Over the years, IBM have added new social media elements that allow fans to see the percentage of positive conversation about a player’s performance on Twitter as the match is played out.
Image: IBM Slamtracker
Now, Wimbledon has gone personal with a unique ‘Plan Your Visit’ feature that provided a countdown to the event as well as news and information tailored to specific matches. With the ‘Wimbledon Story’ feature – according to Econsultancy – visitors to the championship will be given their very own shareable slideshow, made up of photos and social media posts from the day.
Everlane – Growth Radical Transparency
The clothing brand Everlane stays customer centric by catering staunchly to their core audience. A customer who is curious, interested and invested in where every product he or she uses comes from. A part of Everlane’s philosophy is to ingrain the idea of “radical transparency” around their products, so they will be able to explain to customers where the products come from, and what they cost to put together as well as what all the raw materials cost.
This idea of explaining costs and margins to customers is radical, especially in the online shopping world where transparency about the origins of the clothes themselves are dubious. Everlane has also experimented with new customer service and order placing channels like messengers and has an exclusive instagram account where they only accept 100 followers on everyday where they offer exclusive content and new releases to select customers. Exclusivity and big wins definitely win customers over.
TD Bank’s approach to banking focuses on staying customer centric and has earned them the title of being one of the most convenient banks to work with. Their branches stay open on Sundays and their helpline is always available. In the digital space, from letting their customers pay bills online to adding a stabilizer into their app to make sure users uploading pictures from phone cameras don’t experience a ‘shake’ – they’ve more than got you covered. The core of TB Bank’s strategy involves customer listening to understand pain points, before developing new processes and services.