What is the difference between 'customer-centered' and 'customer-centric'? It seems to me that 'customer-centered' is plain and understandable. I do not see any reason to replace it with 'customer-centric.'

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    No difference. Like "customer oriented," they are business-babble buzz word designed to sell books to the credulous. – deadrat Sep 22 '15 at 3:02
  • Whichever one your company's ad-speak people choose. – Hot Licks Oct 3 '15 at 0:23

I've done some further research and into more credible sources. Firstly, I think we can all agree that the term customer centered is synonymous with customer focused. According to Cambridge Online Dictionary:

Customer focused: paying great ​attention to the ​needs and ​opinions of ​customers.

The term Customer Centricity was coined by Wharton Professor Peter Fader; and has a distinct meaning from customer centered.

Customer centricity means that you’re going to be friendly, provide good service and develop new products and services for the special focal customers — the ones who provide a lot of value for you — but not necessarily for the other ones. You need to pick and choose. Some customers deserve the special treatment, and if others want to buy from you, that’s great, but they are not going to be treated the same. -Peter Fader

  • I was of the mind of deadrat's comment, until you pointed out that centered is like a service company, where as centric might be one that is a retailer actually concerned with customer satisfaction. – Mazura Oct 2 '15 at 3:53
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    I would find BusinessDictionary.com's distinction between these two terms a lot more plausible if it also had entries for alternative orientations and emphases such as business-centered, business-centric, profit-centered, profit-centric, shareholder-centered, and shareholder-centric. But in fact it has entries for none of these terms, even though they are obviously alternatives to the two discussed here. I suspect that what we have here is not a systematic categorization of -centered and -centric orientations, but instead a couple of empty buzzwords that sound good to customers. – Sven Yargs Oct 3 '15 at 6:10
  • @Sven Yargs I've edited my answer to somewhat fix the faults you described in your above comment. – Ben Oct 3 '15 at 13:17
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    +1 for your extra effort in finding more-authoritative sources and for your civility in response to a rather hostile comment (by me). I stlll think that we are wandering in the land of marketing buzz here, but at least you have gotten us to the origin of "customer centricity" and identified a useful probable antecedent to "customer-centered" in "customer-focused." Well done. – Sven Yargs Oct 3 '15 at 15:57

We generally use "centric" with Greek words: geocentric, heliocentric since it comes from the Greek "kentrikos" - "of the centre". We use "centred" with non-Greek words: Earth-centred, sun-centred, citizen-centred since it comes from the Latin "centrum" - "centre".

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    This rule sounds right to me, but I think the explanation is a bit imprecise. The suffix -ic is certainly a common sign of a Greek-derived word (although there are some -ic words that were formed on non-Greek bases). Both centric and centre/center ultimately come from Greek κέντρον. It was taken into Latin as centrum. The Oxford English Dictionary says that centricus is a "post-Classical" Latin word used by "1540 or earlier", so it seems plausible that centric also passed through Latin before entering English (the OED's first citation for centric in English is from "a1593"). – herisson Oct 31 '18 at 3:48

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