Customer-Centric Transformation: What Good Looks Like – Efficiency – Controlling Costs – Part 12b of 14


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Designing and executing a customer-centric business model requires end to end organisational alignment. Customer-centric capability development cannot take place in isolation to the rest of the business. The customer-centric journey requires a clear quantified understanding of current organisational capability across all 14 capability areas of the SCHEMA® Customer Management framework in the centre of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint below. As important as an understanding of current customer management capability is, so too is an understanding of the capability to which the organisation aspires.

Each week I’ll address another single capability area, sharing with you the Transformation Intent to which your organisation should commit to, as well as ‘What Good Looks Like’ for those organisations that have achieved a fairly high level of maturity in the respective capability area.

The REAP Customer-Centric Organisation Blueprint®

REAP CCOB for Blog

This week we are dealing with Efficiency which is one of the four Execution capability areas represented. The Execution layer relates to the capabilities and control levers needed to optimise customer value and include Retention, Efficiency (understanding cost to serve), Acquisition and Penetration (customer development, cross-sell and up-sell) – collectively referred to as REAP. These are capabilities and initiatives that can be optimised in the short term.

These capabilities support your ability to implement your chosen customer strategies and rely on the fundamental building blocks (Foundations) as well as the Enabling capabilities already discussed in Part 1 to 10 of this series of blog posts.

Each of the four Execution capability areas is made up of sub-components. The Efficiency dimension seeks to manage costs from a customer profitability perspective and evaluates costs in reference to the value of the customer for whom those costs are incurred. The 2 sub-components of the Efficiency dimension are ‘Calculating & Allocating Costs’ and ‘Controlling Costs.‘ Each of these areas is addressed in separate, individual blog posts.

Transformation Intent – Efficiency

“In treating different customers differently, your organisation needs to develop the capability to optimise customer profitability through the efficient calculation, allocation and control of customer costs in retaining, acquiring and developing your customers across all segments and channels. This enables you to perform value analysis in a way that supports your customer engagement within the defined profit bands per customer and per segment, and if need be, influencing their behaviour to reduce the cost-to-serve or even terminating them as customers if necessary.”

What Good Looks Like – Controlling Costs

  • The relative costs of acquiring, retaining and developing customers by each channel are understood and have an influence on customers’ allocation / entitlement to each channel. Maximum acceptable acquisition costs are calculated for each customer type and mechanisms in place to stop acquisition activity or hold back sales costs (commissions) if necessary.
  • Marketing costs are controlled by formal optimization, moving towards inbound targeting and by reducing or stopping marketing to some customers where the cost cannot be justified.
  • The drivers of cost-to-serve variations are understood and the overall cost-to-serve level is being reduced by changing buying behaviours and maximizing the use of self-service wherever possible.
  • The various costs of failure and wastage are understood and fully considered in work to improve customer processes.
  • The organisation has an ethos, relevant definition and sensitive processes that allow high cost (compared to revenue) customers to be stimulated to leave.

For more insight into customer-centric business model innovation as well as more insight into this particular area of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint, please see my book “The Customer-Centric Blueprint’ –

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Leather
Doug is a leading expert in Customer Management working globally with large blue-chip organisations. He is best described as a Customer Management Evangelist/Activist as a result of his broad multi-industry and multi-country insights into customer management capability understanding, best practice application, customer experience, business models and business performance improvement. He is a Wharton Business School Alumnus.


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