Customer centricity – more than just a marketing matter

Customer centricity means nothing other than looking at the world from the customer’s perspective. To achieve this, retailers and manufacturers have to know what their customers want or what makes life easy for them. They can then gear their products and services towards this and focus on the brand experience. The challenge lies in aligning the structure of their own organisation with the customer perspective and creating the technical basis for this. 

Reaching customers with connected channels

Central to this is connecting channels in the best possible way. The interplay of the various contact points – whether digital or directly at the point of sale (PoS), mobile or on a PC, on a brand website or on Instagram – is crucial to a consistent brand promise. A customer approach that spans channels, platforms and devices is all about reaching the customer wherever they find themselves with content that is relevant to them. 

Consistent brand experience across all channels

A comprehensive brand strategy is the key to success. This is the basis for the customer’s positive experience with the brand, online and offline, and ensures a consistent brand identity. The relevant sales channels, which are combined into a multichannel, cross-channel or omni-channel model within the framework of the customer journey, are also derived from this.

Multichannel, cross-channel and omni-channel

There are different models of customer communication depending on how interconnected the channels are. An overview of the models illustrates the level of integration of the customer experience.

  • Multichannel: Several channels are used for communication and sales, but they are not integrated. This means that customers cannot switch between channels without having to “introduce” themselves or sign up again as a customer. Examples of this are specialist retailers with an additional online shop or manufacturers who also offer a mail order service.
  • Cross-channel: Different, but integrated, channels are used for communication and sales. The channel connections are obvious to the customer – whether through a different brand identity or recognisable transitions. Examples of this are ordering online with delivery to a store or ordering goods not available in-store directly via the online shop.
  • Omni-channel: The hybrid. A multitude of linked channels which convey a consistent brand identity are used for communication and sales. The customer can seamlessly transition between channels. The brand can be experienced at all contact points of relevance to the customer.

Evaluating information for a positive customer experience 

Relevant information must also be collected across channels to ensure a positive customer experience. This needs to be evaluated centrally and then made available again in the various channels. This requires defined processes as well as comprehensive analysis options and technology that enables such information collection – a big undertaking that can only be successfully achieved by industry and retail together. 

Hybrid sales concepts boost turnover 

But hard work pays off. Companies that want to convert customers into fans and brand ambassadors and are already making the most of what the digital world has to offer for hybrid sales concepts will reap the future rewards. After all, not every product is easily marketed online and not every sale is completed via the channel in which the customer first obtains information.

About the author

Adriane Kovacevic is a marketing manager with Vision11 GmbH. The CRM consultancy helps companies from different industries to optimise and manage customer processes. As a CRM specialist, Vision11 combines strategy, conceptual methodology, creation and technology under one roof to offer a comprehensive range of services. Volkswagen, AUDI, MAN, E-ON, Siemens and SWM are just some of the major brands among its customers.

Would you like to learn more about Visual Merchandising?

Expert knowledge, practical tips for retailers and the latest industry developments. Stay well informed at all times with the Insights-X newsletter.

I am interested as a: