What is the most determining factor to your business’s success?

Depending on industry specifics you may respond with: government policy, market conditions, leadership or organisation structure. To be fair, all of the above responses are true, however, partially as all business sectors have a single, success determining factor – customers.

You may say it’s obvious and doesn’t need to be said as customers have always been important.

But did you account for all the recent technological advances and how they continue to change the way we communicate as well as what profound effect those aforementioned changes have on the customer/business relationship dynamic?

Account for change

We live in a digitally connected world, one in which ideas, products and services spread like wildfire with just a single tap of a button. Long gone are the days when the emphasis was solely on the product itself, it has since then shifted to how is it delivered and supported throughout its life-cycle. This constant need for innovation which seamlessly transpires every fibre of our daily lives requires an in-depth focus on customer insights, development of collaborative solutions and has turned your valued customers into an integral part of your business model.

Embrace, implement & adapt

Customer experience is essential to business success, it also requires adopting a customer-centric culture; it’s a long-term goal, one which can’t be achieved through cliche slogans nor repeating key phrases during conversations. Your entire company will have to embrace this new approach and nurture it – the process you’re about to undertake is not limited to customer-facing positions.

Every action, every decision (yes, higher echelon of management included) and each development has to be driven by your end goal – achieving customer centricity.

Company culture is the “soul” of your organisation, the values on which it was founded upon and to which you adhere to; it’s the way you communicate with co-workers and clients alike, how tasks get done, and in the long run it’s something that defines your entire company. It’s almost intangible at first but once it sets in the effects it has on your enterprise will be vivid.

Which is why it’s essential to align your recruitment as well as retention processes with this mindset and cultivate them; engage current employees and hire those who will enhance the new culture.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding floating around about what cultural fit means. Most importantly, hiring for cultural fit is not about hiring an army of clone-like drones, all of whom will march to the same drumbeat as it only leads to stagnation.

Rather, hiring for cultural fit is about bringing in people whose ideas and outlook not only align with your culture but also poses qualities which supplement it, thus enhancing it further.

Evolution, not a revolution

How will it impact your hiring process?

You get to keep your rule book and best practices but they will need to undergo a change of attitude and emphasis.Your goal is to start building a relationship with your potential candidates the moment you post your advert.

Your goal is to start building a relationship with your potential candidates the moment you post your advert.

Bellow, you’ll find tips when hiring for a customer-centric culture:

  • Revamp the job description; Start by reframing the job description. Move away from the standard, purely task oriented and qualification driven model. Focus on desired attitudes and expectations – create an experience.
  • Advertise your culture; Share information and details regarding your company culture when you advertise the position, put it in the spotlight. This will attract individuals who are bound to be a natural fit, ones who align with your organisational framework. Use every communication opportunity to showcase how culture truly is the soul of your company.
  • Focus on people, not qualifications; Do not base your screening efforts solely on qualifications and experience. Rephrase interview questions in order to draw out attitudes and personality traits. Even the most qualified person for the job, if they’re not a cultural fit, can become a bane and not a boon – dooming your customer-centric efforts and spoiling your hard work.
  • Soft skills are important; Your employees need to move away from the purely task-oriented days of olde as embracing customer-centricity requires communication, collaboration and interaction. Ensure that your interview process contains an open discussion element and observe the soft skills in action.
  • Onboard culture; Create an onboarding process which helps people to start engaging with your company culture from the moment they’re hired. Introduce the new hire to the organisation, give them time to get to know their work colleagues. Let them experience the culture by becoming an integral part of it. Use this as an opportunity to reinforce the message across existing teams – embrace customer-centricity.

We’re not going to lie, this new hiring process will require more time and effort than the old, box-ticking method but the long-term impact it has on your entire enterprise is well worth.

Customer centricity can be achieved by nurturing a company culture in which people are put at the very core of the business, therefore recruiting the right people will enhance the process.