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Critical Evaluation of Customer Centricity in the Prospect of E Business

Discuss about the Critical Evaluation Of Customer Centricity.

The report aims at providing a critical evaluation of customer centricity. Customer centricity refers to a strategy for fundamentally aligning the services and products and services of the company with the needs and wants of the valuable customers. Being customer centric refers to the means of doing business with the customers in a manner that puts forward a customer experience for driving repeated business, profits and customer loyalty. Nowadays, various E businesses are also adopting customer centric means for the sale of their products and services. In this context, the examples of Zappos and Amazon require a prime mention on following a customer centric approach. Customer Centricity is something more than offering a genuine customer service as it involves offering greater experience from the stage of awareness through the process of purchase. The article would consider three peer-reviewed journals for establishing the prospective of customer centricity in the context of E business.

According to Shah et al (2014), the customer centricity concept is not something new whose benefits are under discussion for over 50 years. There were also proposals put forward that firms should not only focus on selling the products but on the fulfillment of the customer centric needs. However, business community recently embraces the importance of the customer centric approach. According to Shah et al (2014), less than 20 percent of the marketing organizations amongst 1000 have evolved successfully for leveraging the capabilities, value added process and customer centric approach. If one goes by history, then he or she will be able to find that the firms were more products centric. The economies of the scale and scope have been central since profits were a direct reflection of the market share. Thus, the firms have been more oriented internally with much of the attention focused on the manufacture of the superior products instead of inclining towards the users and purchasers of the products. However, revolution in the latter half of 20th century led to the introduction of some unusual improvements in the collection, storage, analysis and transmission of huge quantity of information. This led to the realization amongst the firms that put forward a greater opportunity for the firms including those with E business facilities in investing in the Information Technology (IT) for management of customer relationships. Customer Relationship  Management (CRM) became the catchphrase that also motivated the companies in making substantial investment in various software packages related to CRM, initiatives for database marketing and infrastructure for supporting marketing that is technology driven (Fader and Peter 2012). Such firms expressed their motivation for achieving a continuous dialogue across all the touch points related to the customer along with maintaining a personalized treatment for the valuable customers. However, the real scenario was that most of the companies lacked the necessary customer centricity for realizing such benefits.

Benefits and Adoption of Customer Centricity

Moreover, according to Shah et al (2014), customer centric organizations are bounded together via a central value where each decision began with anticipated opportunities and customer for benefit. However, a common norm within the customer centric organizations is that the employees act as the customer advocates. Another unique norm shapes the willingness of the individual employees for sharing information with their peers so that the organization remains in better position for meeting the needs of the customers.


As per Lamberti (2013), until the 1980s the concept of customer centricity was nothing more than business philosophy or an idealized policy statement. However, the current reflection of Customer centricity represents a situation experienced by concept of marketing. The refinement and implementation of the marketing concept through analysis of the constituting elements and the antecedents represented the base for development of a theory of market orientation. For explaining the conceptualizations of the customer centricity, he regarded the concept as opposite to the concept of product centricity. The fundamental assumption for product centricity lies in seeing the company as repository of the competences and the resources for the development of products and services. Such services and products represent the basic value proposition on which the company acts for pleasing a number of customers thereby modifying the offer for meeting the expectations of the customers. Customer centricity thus focuses the attention on establishment of the mutually satisfactory relationships amongst the customers. The individual customer expresses their needs according to which the resources of the company activated for developing solutions for satisfying such needs. Presently, there has been criticism on the actual sustenance of a customer centric approach there by putting forward lesser extreme views where a resource focuses on the economic effectiveness of customer centricity. Thus, (Bonacchi and Perego 2013) states that, firms including E business do not only adopt the principles of customer centricity but they also operate in the continuum that focuses on moving from the product centricity to the customer centricity. Customer Centricity is associated with the company’s capability in generating the intelligence of the customers, processing data and gathering information for building the repositories of the comprehensive data regarding the interactions between the firm and the customer and in supporting the modified marketing activities (West Ford and Ibrahim 2015). The concept of customer centricity also actively involves the customers in the innovation and the marketing process thereby co creating a value with the same. In addition to this, customer centricity helps in shifting the focus from service offered towards a newer customer experience for creating the value in a manner that remains related to the customers.

The Role of Customer Centricity in E Business

According to Kamble (2012), Customers remains the most important assets for an organization. In order to ensure continuity of business and become competitive, there is a need for development of customer centric approach that touches all the points of customer interaction. The approach of customer centricity helps organization in acquiring, retaining and growing their customer base. The key element of a customer centric approach remains in being sensitive to the needs of the clients and the proactive approach in interacting with the clients. Effective management of the customer needs acts as vital differentiator for today’s businesses. Companies are also changing on how they are marketing the products for better satisfying the needs of the customers. Traditional marketing has also become less effective and more expensive with time. Companies are making use of the internet for entering into dialogue with the customers. With the emergence of the internet, it has become possible in gaining permission for discussion of products. Nowadays, internet provides the platform for research, advertising, sales, promotions and customer support. Eventually the companies focus on the development of relationships with the customers that will allow them continuous re supply.

Deploying the customer centric approach into E business framework requires careful understanding of the framework (Richardson, James and Kelley 2015). Customer centricity refers to the streamlining of the objectives of the firms for catering them towards the customers. In such a scenario, for the success of the E business framework it is necessary to follow a holistic approach in dealing with the customers. The E business must however consider that the customers represent an important asset for the company therefore; it must align all its business activities for serving the customers in an effective manner. There are various activities related to the customers that surround the framework for E business. This involves, understanding the value proposition of the customers, modified business offerings for customer, ensuring the building of customer understanding for each interaction, building the advisory relationships, analysis of the wants and needs of the customers, deployment of a customer centric virtual framework and delivery of effective and prompt service.

Conclusion:

To conclude, it can be said that customer centricity represents an indefinable goal for most organizations. However, organizations have managed in successfully traversing the path of customer centricity that has helped in reaping richer rewards in the form of the loyal customers and financial performance. Customer centricity enables the firms in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage not countered easily through competition. Thus, customer centricity happens to be an essential condition for the firms of the 21st century thereby helping them to do well in the market place.

References:

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.

Bonacchi, M. and Perego, P., 2013. Improving profitability with customer?centric strategies: the case of a mobile content provider. Strategic Change, 20(7?8), pp.253-267.

Fader and Peter,. 2012. Customer centricity: Focus on the right customers for strategic advantage. Wharton digital press

Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E. eds., 2014. Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.

Kamble, A., 2012.  Aligning Customer-centric Approach to E-commerce Framework.

Kilara, T. and Rhyne, E., 2014. Customer-Centricity for Financial Inclusion.

Lamberti, L., 2013. Customer centricity: the construct and the operational antecedents. Journal of Strategic marketing, 21(7), pp.588-612.

Loshin, D. and Reifer, A., 2013. Using information to develop a culture of customer centricity: customer centricity, analytics, and information utilization. Elsevier.

Mohapatra, S., 2013. E-commerce Strategy. In E-Commerce Strategy (pp. 155-171). Springer, Boston, MA.

Richardson, N., James, J. and Kelley, N., 2015. Customer-centric Marketing: Supporting Sustainability in the Digital Age. Kogan Page Publishers.

Shah, D., Rust, R.T., Parasuraman, A., Staelin, R. and Day, G.S., 2014. The path to customer centricity. Journal of service research, 9(2), pp.113-124.

West, D.C., Ford, J. and Ibrahim, E., 2015. Strategic marketing: creating competitive advantage. Oxford University Press, USA.

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