Creating a “Customer Centric Culture” has become a central goal in business strategy, and it relates to all industries. Everybody wants to be “Customer Centric” and are trying to figure out the best strategy, there are a lot of “Customer Centric” consulting firms and billions of Google search results to “becoming customer-centric”.
I would like to share with you my bottom-up approach.
I remember many years back, working as the only customer support engineer at a tech startup, an entry-level position, and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed it.
For me, it felt like I’m doing the most important job at the company. Looking back, the reason for that was the interfaces. I literally worked with everybody. In addition to the frequent interactions with the customer, I’ve interfaced with more people in the company than any other team, and on a weekly basis, I’ve interacted with R&D, Product, DevOps, Marketing, Sales, Business Development, Billing, Legal, IT.
It wasn’t being nosey: In order to provide the service level I’ve set myself up to, I really needed to speak, on behalf of my customers, with all different functions to get things done.
Slowly and gradually the interactions became more and more bilateral:
R&D wanted to get a report of customers to feedback in order to prioritize bug fixes and monitor availability and uptime.
Product asked for customers feedback on features, new releases, drivers and blockers of adoption.
Marketing asked for leads to advocates and to get feedback on campaigns to see what is working and what is not working.
Sales and Biz-Dev wanted to get qualified leads for sales and expansion.
At that stage of the company, it was the first time that someone really spoke for the customer, and I made customers be heard and get attention.
And by acting as a voice of the customer in such a bilateral way, slowly the company became more customer-centric: Customers were no more just a “background noise”.
I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own without the support of my managers and the C-Level of the company, who opened the doors to my effort to bring customer satisfaction.
And everybody won as the business overall improved by becoming customer-centric: We really put the customer all over the place.
That is the best and most efficient strategy I found to becoming customer-centric, the “Open All Doors” strategy for your customer care/customer service/customer support.
Although sometimes overlooked, they are the best source of customer’s voice and they are right there.
Once you open all the doors for your customer service, to all functions in the company, it means you’ve opened all the doors to your customers, and your customers are being heard, attened to, thought of.
They truly become the centre with all other functions surrounding it.
Some tips from my experience on how to implement this strategy:
Most important is to let your front liners speak up and be heard, and let them decide who should hear what they have to say.
As it’s called, it literally means Open All the Doors.