A Five-Minute “Must Read” Piece Concerning Customer-Centricity – from Harvard Business School


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The Harvard Business Schools “Working Knowledge” newsletter just published an intervieww with faculty member, researcher and pundit Ranja Guloti. The piece is titled, “The Outside-In Aprroach to Customer Service,” with “customer service” referring to all customer interactions (http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6201.html). It’s a five-minute read that imparts exceptional wisdom about achieving customer-centricity based on Guloti’s years of tracking both Outside-In and inside-out companies. Everyone concerned about customer-centricity should read and absorb this.

Gulotti makes many incisive points, including levels of customer-centricity achieved along the long journey there. But the two that struck me most are: 1.) his differentiating between the constraints of nearly ubiquitous inside-out thinking about customer needs – and how Outside-In lifts these constraints, creating opportunities for truly innovative thinking; and 2.) how organizational silos prevent understanding of problems from converting to action. To the latter point he says:

“As I delved deeper into companies seeking to become more customer-centric, the biggest gap I discovered was the one between awareness and action.”

We see some of our own clients experience “the gap.” Despite prior alerts that O-I process redesign changes “what” work is done and “who” (functionally) does work – requiring organizational change – we have clients that understand what needs to change and why, yet freeze-up when it’s time for action. The primary culprit? Not being able to bridge functional silos.A primary reason we’ve now adopted an online maturity modeling instrument is to better preduct when “freeze-up” is likely to occur and when not (it’s often tough to read).

Anyway, I’ll shut up so you can read it.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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