More Customer Centricity, More Success
Customer Centricity is more than just a buzzword. Rather, it is a corporate strategy that permeates the entire organization and consistently places the customer at the center of all services, processes, products and touchpoints.
Never before has it been easier for customers to fulfil their wishes. In times of advancing digitalization, the selection and availability of products is virtually unlimited and has massively increased consumers’ expectations and standards. It’s no longer enough just to offer/sell a good product. If the customer feels misunderstood or not properly catered to, the next online shop is just a click away.
With this in mind, innovative concepts are needed that address individual customer wishes and needs – and this is where customer centricity comes into play. 85 percent of the 125 online experts from the production, retail, and services sectors who were surveyed on this topic by the Stuttgart Media University (HdM) and the online marketer United Internet Media as part of their annual study “Digital Dialog Insights 2017” agree on this. However, they also assert that only 40 percent of the companies truly practice customer centricity, which clearly shows the gap between expectations and reality.
Although this insight has already been gained, many companies find it difficult to develop a holistic understanding of the customer. And this is precisely where the range of services offered by Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, supply chain and e-commerce specialist, and the newly founded digital agency Friends of C. come in. The goal is to develop a comprehensive, customer-centric operating model that incorporates/includes the development of a digital strategy, web-shop performance and optimization, as well as the downstream processes along the entire supply chain. The complexity of the topic of customer centricity requires a systematic and holistic approach with a distinct/strong end-to-end understanding that encompasses/considers all of the company’s processes and hierarchical levels along the value [creation] chain..
Development from the point of view of the customer
An interview with Michael Absolon (Vice President Digital - Arvato Supply Chain Solutions) and Philipp Wengenroth (Head of Friends of C.)
Mr. Absolon, how do Arvato’s services interlock with those offered by Friends of C.?
We can offer our customers the full range of services, and the Arvato Supply Chain Solutions service portfolio enables us to manage and design the entire value chain. This is unique on the market. No other agency offers this extended range. Recent customer examples have already shown that an interdisciplinary interaction of all trades across the entire process chain creates synergies that ultimately also enormously benefit the customer experience
What is the USP of the synergy between Friends of C. and Arvato Supply Chain Solutions? What is the value-add for the customer, especially in the context of customer centricity?
Arvato is known in the market as a reliable partner that not only develops individual solutions for its customers, but is also extremely strong in implementing and operating retail-related support processes. We distinguish ourselves from other consultancies and agencies not only with our integrative, practice-oriented solutions, but also with our comprehensive service portfolio and operational strength. Through the Arvato world, we are much closer to practice and have access to a wide range of services and experts that we can incorporate into our projects. In a nutshell: We design solutions that actually work and guarantee the brand experience - through to the moment the package is opened. In combination with the Arvato solutions, we not only create a web shop that is tailored to the end customer and his needs, but an integrated, customer-centric operating model. Our customers, as well as their end consumers, benefit from integrated services along the value chain, and a comprehensive end-to-end understanding.
Mr. Wengenroth, how does Friends of C. approach customer centricity?
As a digital agency, we have defined “customer touchpoints” as our playing field: What is the consumer’s path to the offer? How does he perceive it? Why doesn’t he make a positive purchase decision? Is the customer journey consistent across all process steps – through to opening the package? Are there elements that consumers love and that they remember with pleasure? We take an in-depth look at these questions, making sure not to miss any touchpoint along the process chain. We have structured our entire development process starting from the end customer, and follow the thesis that any potential value-add for the user must be optimally identified and developed in a focused way. In the process, it is becoming increasingly important to avoid media disruptions between offline and online.
What exactly does that mean?
For example, our requirements analysis follows the “user story” principle, for an easily understood description of expectations regarding features, processes and services from the user’s perspective.
Working with our customers, we are able to come up with tailor-made offers within a very short time – solutions that effectively optimize the customer experience across all touchpoints a customer has with the company or product. Add to that solutions for effective customer acquisition and retention.