Customer centricity is about organizational transformation making the customer the focus for business decisions, processes, product development, services, and procedures.
Some companies purport to be customer centric but they fall short in connecting this concept throughout all functional areas of the business. While it is important to offer superb customer service, being customer centric is far more than that. It’s about mapping the customer journey to discover customer needs and wants, what’s working and what is not, then taking action to improve the customer experience.
Customer loyalty is built through providing exceptional customer experiences. This in turn increases revenues through positive company image, referrals, and increased customer lifetime value.
Most organizations today realize that they must focus on the customer to remain competitive.
Chapter Features and Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Chapter Learning Outcomes — The learning outcomes listed within each chapter align with the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives for Knowledge-based goals (knowledge and comprehension) based on the activity of simply reading the chapter. Should readers complete the exercises within the chapters and at the end of the chapters, higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy can be reached (application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation).
- Example-rich narrative
- Embedded videos with PDF transcripts
- Graphic elements which illustrate and reinforce concepts
- Self-assessments (e.g., quiz, game, or other H5P content)
- Explore the Concept and End-of-Chapter Exercises
- Chapter Key Takeaways
- Additional resource links and Chapter references for additional reading
- Embedded navigation and image alt-text for screen readers
- Free online, PDF, and various other book formats
- Chapter PowerPoint slides
- Glossary of Terms
- Open license, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License permits adoption, adaptation (customization), and sharing
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Below is a record of edits and changes made to this book since its initial publication. Whenever edits or updates are made in the text, a record and description of those changes will be noted here. The edition number will only change when there is a major update to the book. The ancillary files (i.e., test bank, slides) that accompany this book always reflect the most recent version.
August 8, 2021 – 1st edition was released.
November 9, 2022 – 1st edition, version 2 was released. Minor updates include the addition of a test bank and chapter formatting revisions to ensure content meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.
Every attempt has been made to make this OER accessible to all learners and compatible with assistive and adaptive technologies. The Pressbooks content management system was chosen for its commitment to built-in accessibility. The Web version of this resource has been designed to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, level AA and follows all guidelines in Appendix A: Checklist for Accessibility of the Accessibility Toolkit – 2nd Edition. In addition to the web version, additional files are available in a number of file formats including PDF, EPUB (for eReaders), and Course Cartridge (for LMS).
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Each chapter has been evaluated using WAVE® and modified as needed to meet zero errors in accordance with WCAG AA. “WAVE® is a suite of evaluation tools that helps authors make their web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities. WAVE can identify many Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) errors, but also facilitates human evaluation of web content. Our philosophy is to focus on issues that we know impact end users, facilitate human evaluation, and to educate about web accessibility.”
- All images that convey information include alternative text (alt text) descriptions of the image’s content or function. Graphs and charts also include contextual or supporting details in the text surrounding the image. Images do not rely on colour to convey information.
- All colours meet WCAG contrast requirements.
- Content is organized under headings and subheadings. Headings and subheadings are used sequentially (e.g., Heading 1, Heading 2).
- Embedded videos are from YouTube and do have closed captioning available, although many YouTube videos have captions that are auto-generated and these do not always translate correctly. To combat this issue, PDF (English) transcripts have been posted for download with each chapter video.
- Tables are used to structure information and not for layout. Tables include row and column headers. Row and column headers have the correct scope assigned. Tables include a caption. Tables avoid merged or split cells. Tables have adequate cell padding.
- The Microsoft Accessibility checker was run on PowerPoint slides that accompany the book. ALT tags were added to images, PDF (English) transcripts are posted with embedded videos, colour contrast was checked.
- All Web links describe the destination of the link and do not use generic text such as “click here” or “read more”. If a link will open or download a file (e.g., PDF), a textual reference is included in the link information (e.g., [PDF–New Tab]).
- In-text citations are embedded using the Footnote feature of Pressbooks, therefore, footnotes appear as References at the end of each chapter with Web links to the original sources.
- Font size is 12 points or higher for body text in PDF documents. Font size can be enlarged to 200 percent in Webbook or Ebook formats without needing to scroll side to side.
- An H5P element is included with each chapter as a quick review of the chapter’s content. These are accessible based on the H5P type. The goal for the accessible content types is WCAG 2.1 AA support, so the content types have been tested against these criteria and more by the H5P.org developers. Refer to the accessible content types list for additional information.
- PowerPoint slides have been checked with the Microsoft Accessibility checker to ensure proper colour contrast. Images contain ALT text. Fonts are 24 points or larger. PDF Transcripts are linked with each embedded Video. PDF copies of each slide deck are also provided.
Working as a college professor for many years I have honed my customer service skills in working with cross-departmental teams, external partners, and internal customers, and it seems that regardless of the job you choose to do, developing your customer service skills will help make you more effective and efficient. In the past, I have worked as a customer service representative in B-2-B and B-2-C environments, as a customer service manager in HR solutions, as a training coordinator in corporate training, and as a call center manager (both in credit and collections and loyalty programs) and have come to realize that every job role has a customer service component.
During my time as a corporate trainer, I designed and delivered training programs in “Exceeding Customer Expectations” as one of the various sessions my employer delivered. In 2016 I designed a college course called, “Customer Service and Relationship Building” and then in 2018 I designed another college course called, “Customer Centric Strategy” which became the catalyst for this OER book.
In developing this book I have researched many sources and compiled the resources that support the concept of customer centricity. When I teach this college course I also include exercises for students on Salesforce CRM using the Trailhead learning platform. It is essential for students to learn technologies used in business today and especially those used to support building long-lasting positive relationships with customers. Another exercise I usually provide students is one in which they use the Hootsuite platform to practice promoting a business through social media. They learn to respond positively to customer inquiries and complaints.
I hope you find the content interesting and the lessons helpful, and maybe you get a few ideas for practicing customer service skills from the exercises in each chapter. I will try my best to update it from time to time just in case some videos or resources become obsolete or outdated.
(Note: This reference list was produced using the auto-footnote and media citation features of Pressbooks; therefore, the in-text citations are not displayed in APA style).
- eCampus Ontario. (2021). About. https://www.ecampusontario.ca/about/#:~:text=eCampusOntario%20is%20a%20provincially-funded%20non-profit%20organization%20that%20leads,use%20of%20education%20technology%20and%20digital%20learning%20environments. ↵
- WAVE. (n.d.). WAVE accessibility evaluation tool. https://wave.webaim.org/ ↵