Although customer focus is not a new concept, it has become increasingly relevant in the context of digital business transformation, digital marketing, and the ability of managers to monitor, understand and model customer experience. In the study by Valoria and Doingbusiness.ro, the Barometer of customer focus in Romanian companies, customer focus is seen as a strategy that aligns the development and delivery of company products around consumer needs in order to increase the value of the company.
Unfortunately, many companies are far from having a customer-centered service culture. That’s why it’s a good idea to know the main 5 factors that block the process within companies, according to the survey conducted by Valoria and Doingbusiness.ro.
- There is no expertise in the company to implement customer focus (88%)
Most companies in Romania believe that this is the main factor behind them being poor at customer focus. Beyond being the “excuse at hand”, it is obvious that it is difficult to focus on the client in a transition economy where most of the challenges lie in the survival of the business. That is if we do not take into account the Romanian collectivist psycho-cultural profile, which makes it easy for us to “serve” those with whom we have no relation (family, friendship or acquaintance).
- Lack of necessary data management technologies (89%)
The technology allows us to collect relevant data about consumer behavior, about our relationship with them, about client history and business potential. Even in the Internet age when there are so many SaaS applications (Software as a Services), many companies still do not have a CRM or Sales Management system. The decision often belongs to top management that is deprofessionalized from the point of view of digital technologies and who does not have the necessary knowledge to prioritize these investments.
- Poor communication of information between departments (76%)
Lack of confidence is endemic in Romania, which is not incomprehensible after 50 years of communism. This lack of confidence is reinforced by the way most companies are run by authoritarian and dominant leaders. Against this background, considering the lack of technologies that could make more transparent the communication of relevant information between departments, there are many companies where everyone knows something else and few have an overall picture. This reality creates opportunity costs, internal power struggles for privileged access to information, and poor communication of information generally within the firm.
- People do not have a common and clear definition of customer centricity (73%)
Aligned and coherent actions are only obtained when all the team members understand a certain concept in the same way. Beyond the clear understanding of what client-centricity means in our company, it remains to clarify the set of actions by which it is “proven”. The lack of a common and clear definition of customer focus and an immediate correlation with a set of desirable actions (for which they will receive tangible and intangible rewards) create a big problem in companies that want to be more focused on the client.
- The company culture is not in line with the needs of the customers (70%)
Even if our product or service is in-demand and well-sold, it does not automatically mean that we have a customer-centered customer culture. Customer needs are complex and evolving. What today was wow for them, tomorrow will surely be desired as attention and availability from our company. This is even more difficult when customers’ needs are completely unknown, or when the company’s culture contradicts them. For example, customers appreciate warranty services very much in Romania, and some companies see a big burden in their delivery, and they do not know how to get away with shorter sub-contractors in the customer service.
Apparently, the sales-oriented culture seems to be more efficient for any company, but the customer-centric approach is more profitable in the long run. This is because customer centricity not only leads to products/services that are needed by the customers but also to create meaningful interactions with customers before and after sales, to generate repeated sales, loyalty and profits.