Customer centricity can be a meaningless formula if there are no coherent actions to prove it. For the second consecutive year, Valoria analyzes the evolution of the company’s outlook on the consumer. The Barometer of customer centricity in Romanian companies identifies fundamental issues and challenges that typically discourage a company from becoming client-oriented.
In this excerpt, we show the results according to three main categories of respondents: company top executives, middle managers, and heads of department. We will see how each of these respondents has a different perspective on the topic of the study.
In 2018, 59% of respondent top management executives, 62% of managers and 50% of heads of department believe that through the annual increase in consumer satisfaction one differentiates the best customer-centric company in the market. Consumer retention is ranked first only in the case of 31% of heads of department, 17% of managers and 11% of CEOs.
Knowledge of customer needs is the main consumer-centric value for all categories of respondents, but senior executives and heads of departments have the same level of consumer satisfaction as 25%. Consumer experience is important for 11% of managers, 10% of executives and only 8% of heads of department.
Customer centricity inside the company
For 57% of managers, the main way of communicating the values that underpin the relationship with the client is diversified and coherent internal communication. Executives (55%) want a top-down communication of these values through top management. Only heads of departments (27%) put more emphasis on Q&A sessions regarding customer relationship and customer centricity.
Only 18% of top management executives focus internally on creating processes that deliver superior customer service, but managers (20%) focus on employee training to understand the customer-centric approach of the company. In the case of heads of departments (28%), the number one priority is to facilitate cooperation between the departments of the company.
Customer centricity outside the company
Out of the range of external actions, only 17% of top management executives support the creation of an emotional bond with consumers through the exceptional provided experience. Very few percentages are also found in actions aimed at customizing information for consumers, supported by 16% of managers, 10% of heads of department and 8% of top managers of respondent companies.
In the case of 21% of the executives who responded to the survey the main challenge to have more customer-centered companies is insufficient expertise in data analytics. The percentage increases to 24% for managers and drops to 19% for heads of department. The next significant challenge is the lack of technology platforms for customer data management.
The budget for financing consumer-centered actions
The Financial Department team is the main function working on the company’s budget, according to 25% of the executives and 25% of the managers who answered the questionnaire. The percentage drops to 23% for heads of department. In any case, the budget’s responsibility is fairly balanced between the marketing, financial and sales departments.
Only 39% of top management executives, 38% of managers and 46% of heads of the department said they built the company’s general budget to be more customer-centered by aligning departmental targets. However, we also have 32% of executives and 31% of managers who say they have used the “Customer Total Value” method.
Customer experience improvement
For 26% of the top executives of the respondent companies, the most important criteria for prioritizing initiatives to improve the consumer experience with the greatest impact on business is customer satisfaction while another 26% focus on the quality of products and/or services offered by the company. This latter criterion is ranked first by 22% of managers and 23% of heads of departments.
Voice of the Customer is the methodology used by most companies to measure and improve the consumer experience, according to 58% of executives, 52% of managers and 45% of heads of the department. The next place for 24% of managers is CxPi (customer experience index), as for 18% of department heads are CES (customer effort score) and CJM (customer travel mapping).
For 32% of executives, the list of priorities for initiatives to improve the consumer experience that generates the greatest impact in business is done based on the cost vs. benefit analysis, at the par with 32%, which put consumer satisfaction first. Most managers (29%) make this list of priorities based on the return on investment (ROI).
The interest in the product or services offered by a company gets the reality check by the conversion into sales. To the extent that the company is centered on consumer needs, the consumer conversion and retention index increases. It is very important for companies to listen to the consumer, build solid budgets aligned with their needs, consolidate the processes and the technical support needed to better customer focus. This is the only way to increase the existing customer retention index and convert potential customers into sales.