Customer focused or customer centric: What's the difference and why does it matter?

Published on : 15th March 2023

Customer focused or customer centric: What's the difference and why does it matter?

In today's highly competitive business world, it's essential to put the customer at the heart of everything you do. Companies that understand this concept and are committed to creating a customer-centric culture have a significant advantage over their competitors.


But what exactly does it mean to be customer-centric, and how is it different from being customer-focused?


Immediate needs


Customer-focused companies tend to prioritise customer satisfaction and meet their immediate needs. They focus on providing excellent customer service and addressing customer complaints promptly. While this is undoubtedly a critical aspect of any successful business, being customer-focused alone does not necessarily lead to long-term customer loyalty.


A holistic approach


On the other hand, a customer-centric company takes a more holistic approach, considering the customer experience at every touchpoint along the customer journey. This approach involves not only meeting customers' immediate needs but also anticipating their future needs and desires. Customer-centric companies are committed to creating a positive and seamless experience for their customers, from the initial interaction to the post-purchase follow-up.


An example


The difference between being customer-focused and customer-centric can be illustrated with an example. A customer-focused company might have a call centre that is staffed by friendly and helpful agents who are trained to address customer complaints quickly. This is undoubtedly a positive step towards customer satisfaction, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the company is customer-centric.


A customer-centric company, on the other hand, might take a more proactive approach by analysing customer feedback and identifying common pain points. They might then work to eliminate these issues before they arise, creating a smoother and more enjoyable customer experience. For example, they might introduce self-service options that allow customers to solve problems on their own without having to call customer support.


The customer journey


Being customer-centric is about more than just satisfying customers' immediate needs. It's about understanding the customer's journey and taking a proactive approach to creating a positive experience at every touchpoint.


Long term loyalty


Companies that are committed to being customer-centric are more likely to create long-term customer loyalty and outperform their competitors.