DEFINITION of 'Client Centric'

Client centric is an approach to doing business that focuses on creating a positive experience for the customer. Client centric businesses ensure that the customer is at the center of a business's philosophy, operations or ideas. Client centric businesses believe that their clients are the only reason that they exist and use every means at their disposal to keep the client happy and satisfied. Client centric is also referred to as customer centric. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Client Centric'

Client centric has long been a buzzword in service-oriented industries such as the financial services. Firms that strive to be Client Centric often do so by offering one-stop shopping for their customers to save them time and money. Others may provide a suite of high-level services for high-net worth clients. The overarching business theory is that serving the customer to the utmost of your ability will result in a loyal customer who will both spend more of his or her money with the company and be less likely to go elsewhere based on price. 

The Reasons for a Client Centric Approach

Companies choose a client centric approach for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is that new customers are hard to find. Unless you are providing a good or service that is brand new in the world, the majority of customers are evaluating your business against competitors or equivalents. For example, the pizza shop on one end of a street is always being compared to the pizza shop on the other end. Acquiring new customers can be costly, requiring discounts or promotions, so a business makes more by keeping the customers they have and selling them more. So a pizza shop adds pasta and drinks, gaining more of their existing customers' restaurant budget. A financial advisor adds an estate planner, retirement specialist and tax advisor to the team. Or, a more concrete example, Apple builds a smartphone and then creates a closed ecosystem around it to maintain a seamless and safe user experience.

Locking in customers with superior service is the go-to strategy for client centric companies. They strive to create an experience so good that their customers can't imagine receiving the same level of support and attention from any other company. Of course, there are natural limitations on how many products and services one company can offer to a customer while maintaining superior quality. Some client centric companies expand their suite of services too broadly, eroding the core services that made them outstanding to that customer in the first place. As with any approach, taking it to an extreme is as dangerous as not practicing it at all.  

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