As the way they do business and technology evolves, it is vital for companies to switch from being business-oriented, product-oriented or sales-oriented to being customer-oriented. Today, with the influence of social media, customers now have more platforms where they can express their opinions and share their experiences positively or negatively. Consumers are increasingly expected to be heard and considered by companies. In such a business environment, business models must focus on customers’ interests and support their wants, needs and input. Being customer-centric means introducing the voice of the customer to every unit and niche of a business to provide the best possible products and experiences for customers.
Businesses cannot understand what their customers need or how they feel about a product or service without going through a data-to-information analysis process. For this reason, they have to rely on the data to be collected from the market as much as their experience. To hear what customers are saying, companies must engage in an ongoing, mutual dialogue trying to understand the “why” behind the “what” in customer interactions.
What do customers like about our product or service? How do they use it? How do they want to use it? What experience did they have with our user interface? Finding answers to questions like these drives customer-focused companies and encourages product innovation.
Consumer research provides key metrics to measure customer habits and identify trends. In-depth customer information collected by market research companies through different methods (survey, focus group, in-depth interview, ethnography, etc.) is an indispensable element of creating a sustainable customer-oriented business model. For this reason, customer-focused companies should remember that incorporating the voice of the customer into the business process is a journey, not a one-shot destination.