There was a time when large organizations were built solely depending upon product-centric approaches. However, as the customers have evolved, companies are slowly shifting towards a customer-centric approach. Product centric vs customer-centric approach is the biggest dilemma that modern companies find themselves dealing with. These two approaches are the two sides of the same coin. One cannot grow without the other. And yet businesses are evaluating the efficacies of both approaches to find pros and cons of both. The best solution isn’t it to leverage the power of both approaches?
A customer-centric approach is a way of doing business that fosters a positive customer experience at every customer journey stage. It builds customer loyalty and satisfaction, which leads to referrals for more customers. Anytime a customer-centric business makes a decision it deeply considers the effect the outcome will have on its customers. On the contrary, a product-centric approach is when the company places the vast majority of its focus on developing its product. Product-centric organizations are driven by the desire to focus their attention on building and bringing products to the market rather than the customers that purchase their products.
Organizations that maintain product-centricity defines their entire culture by the products that they develop. These product-centric organizations consider the actual product itself the most important aspect of the business and prioritize the product over everything else. On the other hand, creating a customer culture needs to be woven into the company’s DNA for it to be truly successful. Every team will need to be on board with putting the customer at the heart of everything, guiding the path forward, and all the decisions that are being made.
A product-centric company will focus heavily on developing advanced versions of their existing product or adding new product lines, investing large amounts of their funding into research and development, and creating strategies and processes around the further development of their product. However, it is vastly more cost-effective and user-friendly to focus on developing the best customer experience. Satisfied users become collaborators and evangelists for your product, meaning that they’ll want to work with you to improve the product and share their positive experiences with other prospective customers.
Is your company rewarding new product development or people with deep insights into customers?
In the customer-centric approach business is done by focusing on providing a positive customer experience both at the point of sale and after the sale in order to drive profit and gain a competitive advantage. Companies identify pressing customer needs or challenges and build the solution that resolves that pain. Is your company built around product divisions or customer segments?
Finally how does your organization measure its success? Are you more focused on product profitability and revenue or customer lifetime and retention?
Being customer-centric doesn’t mean you can ignore product success. Product success still lies at the core of your organization with the only difference of the company’s vast expanse towards customer-centric strategies as well. To decide which is a better approach product-centric vs customer-centric, you must understand your business offering well. There are great examples of both kinds.