Davis Rance’s recent post on Alignment Really Does Make a Difference—to Customers and Employees struck a chord with me. It also reminded me of a recent post by John Hagel on his Edge Perspectives Blog called Tests for Customer Focussed Companies. In the post, Hagel offers three questions to ask of any C-Suite executive who claims his company is customer-centric.
1. Who in the organisation holds real decision power.
As likely as not the answer will be an executive responsible for products, rather than one responsible for customers. If an executive responsible for customers isn’t calling the shots in the organisation, then how can it really be customer-centric?. As the old saying goes, “He who pays the Piper calls the tunes”.
2. What are the primary measures of performance of the organisation?
If those with real decision power are responsible for products, it is highly likely that in addition to the usual financial measures, it will be product measures, particularly sales & margin, that get measured. Other than the ubiquitous customer satisfaction, customer measures may not be measured at all. If customer measures aren’t center stage in the organisation, then how can it really be customer-centric?
3. What is the primary focus of the organisation’s brand promise?
Take a look around you. Most brands are about themselves or the companies that own them, not about customers. If the organisation’s brand promise isn’t all about customers, then how can it really be customer-centric?
C-Suite executives have tough choices to make. But if they really want to become customer-centric, working out what has to be done to answer these three questions in the affirmative is a great place to start.
What do you think? Is your organisation customer-centric? Or do products still rule the roost?
Post a comment and get the conversation going.
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager