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Empowering your Team to Become Customer Centric

“The usual?” You walk into your favorite small-town diner and before you even slide into your favorite booth, the waitress pours freshly brewed coffee into a mug on the table. Before you can down your first cup, the cook whips up your two eggs – sunny-side up, three slices of crispy bacon, and a side of perfectly golden toast covered in melty butter — just the way you like it.

Can’t beat that kind of experience – the kind that results in happy, engaged customers who return for the same high quality, personalized service again and again. How can you provide such an experience for your customers? It starts with a company-wide customer centric mindset.   

What’s it mean to be Customer Centric? Customer centricity is focusing everything – business decisions, customer service, company culture, and more – around your customer. Being customer centric means putting your customer first, keeping them engaged, and providing them service the way they want it. Customer centric companies know what their customers care about and give it to them to provide a better customer experience.

Shifting to a customer centric mindset can be a culture-shock, but the benefits outweigh the costs. Compared to the average customer, fully engaged customers represent a 23% premium in share, profitability, revenue and relationship growth.2 Customer centric companies keep customers engaged and interacting in ways that they prefer, improving outcomes. 

Serve A High-Quality Experience: Would you go back to a place where your waitress didn’t acknowledge you until 10 minutes after you sat down and your sunny-side up eggs came out scrambled? As a customer, it diminishes your experience when you have to wait for poor results. 

Each employee plays a role in a customer’s experience with their interaction with that customer. That’s why promoting a customer centric mindset to your team is key. Use these tips to help your team be customer minded in their work.

Attitude

It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO, manager or intern, attitude determines direction. A positive attitude keeps employees more engaged and companies with engaged employees outperform the competition by 147%.1 In order to move forward, it’s imperative that your team believes in a customer centric culture and understands the importance of putting the customer first. Employees who think their company is customer centric are very optimistic about their company and their future.3

Each employee’s attitude influences every individual they interact with – including customers. If just one team member has a negative attitude towards customer centricity, it can impact the entire company’s reputation and culture. To combat potentially negative attitudes, be upfront about changes in processes, promote positive attitudes through trainings, and educate about the benefits of customer centricity.  

#ProTip: Don’t pressure your team into being customer centric. People push back more on forced change versus positive encouragement. Educate your team on the “why,” rather than directly demanding change, so they can make the choice to change themselves.

Team Strategy

Imagine one waitress running an entire restaurant on her own during Sunday brunch. Chaos, right? Wouldn’t it be easier if there were multiple employees to wait tables? Each person would take their own section while helping with coffee refills, taking food to tables, or seating people when they have spare time. Team strategies like this maximize efficiency and improve customer experience.

A centralized support strategy is one example of a team-based approach becoming increasingly popular in agricultural business settings. This strategy fosters customer centricity by giving employees the power to work together and maximize their strengths to better serve customers. It makes more interactions with customers possible so that customers feel important. 

#ProTip: It’s not a competition. When it comes to serving customers, what matters is providing them with the best experience possible. If you work as a team, rather than fighting for the credit, you’ll find working together reduces errors and makes delivering that service easier. 

Training

Have you ever had a waitress that doesn’t know the menu or care if she gets your order correct? It can be frustrating, right? Customer centricity is just like any other skill or mindset that a team should be trained on to be most effective. Teaching your team customer centric actions and behaviors enables them to provide positive, personalized experience and promotes a “customer first” attitude. Below are some customer centric strategies and behaviors to consider including in team trainings.

  • More coffee? – Keep your customers engaged by interacting with them. Your team doesn’t have to wait for calls to come in all the time, reach out first. Engaged customers are more loyal and result in higher profitability. 
  • How's it taste? – Get feedback from customers and analyze it so that you can do something about issues or know how your team can improve.
  • Sorry, but we’re out of bacon – Bad things happen, it’s unavoidable. Whether you’re out of a part or servicing a piece of equipment, if it’ll take longer than intended, make sure your team knows how to break the news to the customer in a way that where they still feel valued and prioritized. Use our guide to delivering adverse news for tips on how your team can remain customer centric through tough conversations.
  • Apology pancakes – When customers provide feedback, be sure to address it. If something goes wrong, your team should be prepared to resolve the issue effectively and ensure that customer feel like their concerns are met. Providing an above and beyond experience can rebuild customer loyalty to make up for negative interactions.
  • Cash or card? – Make sure your team knows how to work your tools and technology. If the waitress doesn’t know how to run a card it slows the whole process down. Same goes for your team. When your team can efficiently work the technology, they show customers you value their time.

Increase Visibility

Customer experience isn’t an exact science. There’s no magic combination of elements that creates the best reaction from customers, simply because every customer base is different. Gathering and analyzing feedback from your customers is key to knowing what makes them feel prioritized and keeps them engaged.

Once you know what makes your customers tick, tell your team. If your team understands what customers expect, it will make it easier for them to keep customers engaged and provide a more individualized experience. Increasing visibility of customer issues and interactions keeps your team on the same page, helps manage interactions with customers, and creates a database of customer issues, feedback, and other data. Streamlining team communication simplifies service and makes it possible for your team to know all the information about a customer issue before engaging the customer. The more a team member knows about a customer, the better they can serve them.

Tool Adoption

So how can you streamline team communication? Technology, of course! Technology systems have the capability to simplifying data share, increase communication efficiency, improve processes, and simplify workflows. Here are three ways that implementing technology can make a positive difference in your company.

  1. Using a call management system divides the responsibility of answering customer calls amongst the team, reducing missed calls and reducing stress of the entire team.
  2. Document and increase visibility of customer interactions for your team. Knowing the customer makes it easier to provide individualized service to meet their expectations.
  3. Maximize each team member's capabilities and skills by assigning specific issues. Certain technology can enable teams to assign specific customer issues to a team member. This capability allows teams to maximize individual team members’ skills by assigning them tasks that best fit their capabilities.
#ProTip: Be sure to learn how to use the data and share that knowledge with your employees. Understanding the data can make decisions easier and more effective. 

While these tools can help, make sure to go back and train your employees on how to use them and data they may provide. If your employees can’t or don’t know how to use the tools, why have them? This also helps make tools worth the investment.   

Where can I find a tool with all these capabilities that facilitate customer centricity? Look no further. Schedule a demo to learn more about how AgriSync can provide your team with the technology to empower customer centricity across your team.

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  1. Blake Morgan, 50 Stats That Prove The Value Of Customer ExperienceForbes (September 24, 2019), https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2019/09/24/50-stats-that-prove-the-value-of-customer-experience/?sh=5b8d93fd4ef2
  2. Gallup, Customer Centricity, Gallup (2021), https://www.gallup.com/workplace/311870/customer-centricity.aspx
  3. Marco Nink & Jennifer Robinson, Bring Customers Into Clear FocusGallup (January 6, 2021), https://www.gallup.com/workplace/327524/bring-customers-clear-focus.aspx