The current business scenario is much more customer centric compared to the business process a few years ago. This is due to the reason that there was an era of manufacturing. This refers to the selling of the goods being manufactured to the customers. They do not have the options of selecting products according to their choices. However, after the global liberalization and initiation of the globalization, competition got increased in the market. This led to the increase in the options and bargaining power for the customers. This also led to the conversion of the manufacturing era to the marketing era (Lamberti 2013). According to the concept of marketing era, market research is being done in order to identify the need and requirements of the customers and offering the products and services accordingly. This also led to the more effective consideration and fulfillment of the need of the customers. In this essay, importance of customer centricity discussed by Kindstrom and Kowalkowski (2014), creation of customer value by customer centricity discussed by Bogers, Hadar and Bilberg (2016) and important factors in initiating customer centricity stated by Bedarkar, Pandita, Agarwal and Saini (2016) are being used.
Concept of the customer centricity also originated from this phenomenon and it helps the business organizations to effectively determine the need of the customers and fulfill their need properly. This essay will discuss about the importance of the customer centricity in aligning the products and services along with the need and want of the customers in relation to the e-business.
Importance of customer centricity
It is well known that in the current business scenario, customer centricity is required to attract more customers. According to Kindstrom and Kowalkowski (2014), customer centricity is also effective and important for the e-business also. This is due to the reason that customer centricity refers to the designing of the products and approach of the service according to the wants and needs of the most valuable customers. On the other hand, e-business sector especially the business to customer sector should have to be more customers centric. This is mainly due to the reason that customers are having the options of comparing the content in the e-business with other substitutes. Moreover, the switching cost for the customers in the e-business is also low or negligible. Thus, it is more important for the organizations in the e-business to be more customers centric and design their service and product portfolio according to the customer’s need and wants.
For instance, Amazon is one of the major e-business organizations in the current business sector. One of the major competitive advantages of them is the customer centricity. Amazon is known for their updated products and frequent change of their products in their portal. These changes are being made according to the feedback gained from the customers. Garnering the feedback of the customers helps them to determine the requirement and expectation of the customers and offering the products accordingly (Saarijarvi, Kannan and Kuusela 2013). This is only possible due to the customer centric approach of Amazon.
Creating value through customer centricity
Customer centricity is more important for the e-business organizations due to the reason that in the current business scenario, the trend of the market and requirements of the customers are rapidly changing. It is important for the contemporary business organizations to add more value to the customers in order to stay ahead in the competition (Saarijarvi, Kannan and Kuusela 2013). The current business state of affairs for the organizations in the e-business sector is intensely competitive with the presence of number of similar players in the market. Thus, retention of the existing customers is as important as attracting more new customers for the e-business organizations. In this case also, customer centricity plays an important role by providing products and services according to the needs and wants of the most valuable customers.
According to Bogers, Hadar and Bilberg (2016), most valuable customers for the organizations should be considered in determining their need and want. The authors also stated that the most valuable customers should only be targeted due to the reason that they are the most loyal customers to the company along with the major contributor of revenue for the e-business organizations. In the case of the e-business organizations, it is more difficult to determine and identify the level of loyalty for the customers. Thus, these organizations should only target the most valuable customers and offer products according to their need and wants. According to the authors, the approach of offering the products according to the need and want of the valuable customers can only be initiated when the organization will be customer centric.
For instance, if the organization is having the approach of product centricity, then they will not be able to determine the need and want of the customers; rather they will put strategies in place to convince the customers to buy their products. These authors have also stated that there are various other ways that can be promoted by the e-business organizations to be a customer centric organization. Offering products according to the need and want of the valuable customers is not only the strategy of customer centricity, but offering added benefits such as loyalty programs and effective customer service are also included in the approach of the customer centricity.
Internal factors in initiating customer centricity
The above sections have discussed about the different elements that should be considered in initiating the customer centric approach by the e-business organizations. However, apart from these factors, there are various internal factors that also should be determined in order to have customer centricity in place. According to Bedarkar, Pandita, Agarwal and Saini (2016), organizational culture of the organization is one of the major factors in determining the customer centricity. This is due to the reason that organizational culture should be designed keeping the need and wants of the customers in consideration. According to the authors, organizational culture of the e-business companies should have the approach of “customer first policy”. This will enable the organizations to have their decision making process according to the need and want of the customers. The authors have also stated that employee engagement program is another key internal factor in determining the customer centricity of the organization. This is due to the reason that initiating the customer centric approach should have motivated and engaged employees in place. Motivated and engaged employees will only be able to provide effective customer service and they are the only one who can gather the positive feedback from the customers. Therefore, according to the authors, the more effective will be the employee engagement strategies of the organization, the more efficient will be the customer centricity of the organization.
Relationship management in customer centricity
Initiation of the customer relationship management is also important for the business organizations in having customer centric approach. This is due to the reason that having effective relationship with the customers will helps the e-business organizations to determine the need and want of the customers and offering products and services accordingly. According to Lamberti (2013), e-business organizations should initiate customer relationship management in order to build effective and positive relationship with the customers. This will help the organizations to have the updated knowledge about need and want of the customers at any point of time. This will also equip the e-business organizations to change their offerings according to the need and want of the customers.
Thus, it can be concluded that customer centricity is not only determining the need and want of the most valuable customers and offering products and services accordingly, but also involved various other internal and external factors. This essay discussed about these internal and external factors, which should be considered by the e-business organizations in having customer centric approach. This essay also concludes that e-business scenario in the present time is highly competitive in nature and thus, it is important for the organizations operating in this sector to have customer centric approach to stay ahead in the competition. Effective determination of the external and internal factors of customer centricity will help the e-business organizations to have customer centric approach
Bedarkar, M., Pandita, D., Agarwal, R. and Saini, R., 2016. Examining the impact of organizational culture on customer centricity in organizations: An analysis. Prabandhan: Indian Journal of Management, 9(2), pp.19-28.
Bogers, M., Hadar, R. and Bilberg, A., 2016. Additive manufacturing for consumer-centric business models: Implications for supply chains in consumer goods manufacturing. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 102, pp.225-239.
Kindström, D., & Kowalkowski, C. (2014). Service innovation in product-centric firms: A multidimensional business model perspective. Journal of Business & Industrial management, 29(2), 96-111.
Lamberti, L., 2013. Customer centricity: the construct and the operational antecedents. Journal of Strategic marketing, 21(7), pp.588-612.
Saarijärvi, H., Kannan, P.K. and Kuusela, H., 2013. Value co-creation: theoretical approaches and practical implications. European Business Review, 25(1), pp.6-19.