What Does It Mean To Be Customer-Centric?

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I was introduced to this term when I was working at Apple, Inc. The idea is that every decision the company makes is for the benefit of the customer – everything from product to decor to warranties. When I learned about it, I loved it. What could be better than working for an organization like Apple, where your job is to change people’s lives through technology and experience? For me, it turns out the answer is ZocDoc.

When I joined ZocDoc, customer centricity was already in the framework of the company. It was a part of the DNA. (Our number one core value is, ‘Patients first.’) For me as a member of the service team, that meant that I spent a lot of time reaching out to patients if there was a problem with an appointment, and figuring out how I could fix it. If I needed to spend an hour on the phone with a patient, that was okay. If I needed to send the patient a gift to make up for the inconvenience, that was okay too.

It was the most fun job I could have imagined, and it was deeply gratifying, too. The company has always supported me spending as much time as I need to build relationships with patients, doctors, and office staff members. No one is pressured to make calls within a certain time frame. Instead, we’re empowered to help each and every user. That might take three minutes, or it might take all day. What matters is that the people who work with ZocDoc become our friends.

Although my role has changed at ZocDoc, being customer-centric continues to permeate everything I do. That’s why we don’t just hire people to answer emails or to return phone calls. Those abilities matter, but it’s not what we look for in a teammate. We look for people who are the very best, because that’s what patients and doctors deserve. That’s why we built our own customer relationship management system – to be certain we meet the needs of our users, and offer them the best interactions. And it’s why we track the satisfaction of our customers to ensure that we are doing our best, at all times, and we’re always changing our service to make it better.

It turns out (surprise!) that people like being taken care of, and they refer our service to their family, friends, and colleagues as a result. We build great relationships because it’s the right thing to do for our users. The fact that it’s also the right thing to do for our business is icing on the cake.

Anna has worked in Operations since February 2010. She loves her team, catered lunches, and beer Friday. In fact, she loves beer any-day, but it’s better for her productivity that it’s limited to one (day, not beer). When asked what makes her tick, her usual response is “Helping people! Making them laugh, or smile! Growing a company that is making a difference in the world!” If you have similar loves and likes, she’d like you to consider joining the team!

Image: Holding Hands, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Shawn Lavery’s photostream.

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