THE CUSTOMER IS KING. All of us in the sales world are more than familiar with this phrase - and for good reason. Customer centricity can have a lot to do with a firm's competitiveness in the market - take Uber and Lyft, for instance, who both just recently announced they would be implementing customer loyalty programs. The world's most prominent ride-hailing services have recognized that going above and beyond to take care of their customers can offer them an advantage in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive. Besides competitive advantage, customer centricity is a good tenet to follow for any business, regardless of whether they sell products or services to companies or consumers.

Here's why:

  1. People like people who care about them. Think about all the times when someone has made you feel special. Whether it's a simple compliment on your outfit, the person in front of you at Starbucks buying your coffee for you or a surprise birthday party, people feel good when they know someone was thinking of them. So, do something that lets your customers know you're thinking of them. Regardless of how simple or extravagant it is, your customer will certainly remember how you made them feel.
  2. Selfishness is ugly. Who likes the person who does whatever it takes to get ahead? There is something to be said for drive and determination, but if you're one to do selfish things or take advantage of others to get ahead, you'll likely drive others away from you in the process. So, don't let your business be one that is only motivated for selfish reasons. If you're truly focused on your customers, it will be hard to make a selfish decision.
  3. Naturally, people like to return the favor. We've already established that people like people who make them feel special. The other part of this is not only will people like you if you do something nice for them, but they will also likely return the favor. It's just a simple principle of human nature. Do something to go above and beyond for your customers, and there's a good chance they'll do something that will help you out down the road.

Customer centricity is a practice that is easy to implement for any business or sales professional because it builds upon our natural human tendencies to want to help others. From simply making a customer smile, to creating a competitive advantage in the marketplace, focusing on our customers can help us (and our companies) to grow both personally and professionally.