The best way to become customer-centric is to prioritize the value of your customer. It's not just about what you sell, your marketing strategies or even the value of your products or services. To be profitable and successful, the focus goes beyond the obvious, and filters down to the manufacturers, the product designs, how the merchandise is supplied, and eventually down to the cost of manufacturing.
There's a plethora of "buzz" words out here to describe true customer engagement; some prefer the use of customer-centric, customer experience management, customer profitability or even customer value, but the bottom line, no matter what your description, is to place the customer needs in front.
Some companies believe that customer-centric only applies to service industries and only for those service representatives who directly have contact with consumers. Some companies are even convinced that high scores on customer service surveys are true evaluators of a customer-centric organization, but that is not necessarily true. Actually a successful customer-centric organization has figured out how to prioritize cost and quality to a customer, but also works with every other aspect of the seemingly endless process of manufacturing and delivery to assure the maximum service to someone with the least amount of disappointment.
Let's use the example of Zappos since few of us can argue that this customer-centric organization doesn't present an exemplary experience for their customers. This high volume organization uses customer service agents who have had extensive training and can inform, delight, and deliver that "wow" experience both online or by telephone. The price of their merchandise meets the competition, and customers know they are receiving value, and the latest trends, all of which are carefully monitored. Customers can track the quick and reliable delivery. In today's world of social media and especially Twitter, delivery woes can play havoc on a branded image. Even the condition how merchandise arrives makes a profound influence on customer satisfaction, which again filters down to the high standards of the distribution chain of Zappos.
At Zappos the customer is always the focal point, and their technology creates convenient online ordering, and there are few contingencies to preclude any customer from returning, for free, merchandise that doesn't fulfill their expectation. Combine that with a social web of team members who filter complaints, questions, and compliments, the company provides a stellar example of prioritizing the value of their customers.