Customer Centric Organisational Blueprint


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The Customer Centric Organisational Blueprint™ visually represents the logic, thinking and business system that enables the execution of a Customer Centric business strategy. It is the blueprint for the design of both meaningful and sustainable competitive differentials and the delivery of superior business performance, short term and long term.

Central to the architecture of a Customer Centric business model is a clearly articulated set of strategic outcomes. These will typically be a blend of financial targets, well defined competitive differentiators, the delivery of customer excellence and quite possibly aspirational or iconic brand status.

Any business looking to work, and to win, in the 21st century is exposed to a convolution of political, economic, social and technological issues. Aside from the complexity that these events bring, unrivalled business opportunities exist for those organisations innovative enough to look for them. These opportunities result from access to global sources of brainpower and skills, extraordinary advances in communications and an almost limitless access to information.

A deep 360? business assessment will assist in creating context and highlighting organisational challenges around how to best deal with complexity, legacy issues, decision criteria, organisational structure, performance measurement and short-termism.

Business performance today is grounded upon an ‘existing’ set of organisational assets. These need to be clearly identified, understood and documented as they underpin the organisations’ value propositions. They define the current competitive advantage and must be the ‘point of departure’ in the journey towards customer centricity.

An integrated company vision that seeks out real differentiation, innovation and ‘game changing initiatives’ should be in place and well understood across the business. The route to delivering the ‘vision’ is via a focus on a number of ‘strategic themes’ (e.g. Leadership, People, Customer Experience, Execution, Design Thinking and Innovation.) These strategic themes are fully aligned and supportive of the strategic outcomes identified earlier.

The pursuit to develop a Customer Centric based business strategy is reliant upon the identification and understanding of the organisations current capability across a number of cross-functional practices that enable the organisation to treat different customers differently. This is a fundamental step as a Customer Centric business model requires cross functional collaboration that allows the organisation to design and deliver a distinctive customer experience. The customer experience itself is a blend of the physical product, communication or service and very importantly, the emotions evoked, before, during and after engaging with the organisation across any chosen touchpoint.

What lacks in most organisations is a clear, well defined, well aligned and agreed ‘future state’ of the Desired Customer Management capability. This is a critical step and is needed in order to clearly define the ‘scale of change’ required to move the organisation from its current to its desired capability. This clarity of thinking informs the design of the structures and supporting systems that will enable the organisation to embed the changes required.

Without this the business is unable to determine the capability required to make this change (e.g. skills, internal resource requirements, external resource requirements, non-manpower costs), the costs of the change programme itself (measured against the incremental uplift in profit as a result of the improved organisational capability), the improvement in the quality of decision making (improved effectiveness and efficiency)and the delivery of the defined Customer Experience (and therefore profitability) and the time horizon over which the change will be delivered.

Clarity of the current organisational capability as well as the desired capability enables the design of the transformational journey towards a truly customer centric operational model.

The ultimate objective of the transformation is to develop a way of engaging with client/customer such that the association becomes one of ‘indispensability.’ This is about defining ‘what we will be’ and executing accordingly.

To become ‘indispensable’ to client requires a proactive design of the intended customer experience across a defined number of customer journeys. The design of the Customer Journey Maps (the steps that customers go through in order to experience the ‘proactively defined experience’) is reliant upon a deep understanding of the distribution of value and needs across the customer base. Different customer journeys and therefore different experiences may be offered to clients of different value.

Optimising customer value requires proactive initiatives that impact key metrics that address the Retention, Efficiency, Acquisition and Penetration (REAP) drivers. REAP planning is a mechanism/way of proactively managing the profit stream e.g. for a particular decile/segment is value being optimised through improved retention (R), through more effective cost-to-serve management (E), through acquisition of more of that type of customer (A), through improved take up of additional products/services(P) or a combination there-of? For optimum value the organisation should consider how to balance resource allocations and actions across the REAP drivers by decile/segment. This will mean that a consistent set of scorecard measures exist (REAP) albeit that targets will vary by decile/segment.

Recognising the systemic nature of this approach enables the articulation of what we refer to as the ‘Refined conditions of Business.’ These will be aligned with the strategic themes however they address the outcome of the strategic theme in the ‘desired future.’ e.g. the outcome of the Leadership theme will be a more effective team, the outcome of the People theme may be greater levels of staff engagement, the outcome of the Customer Experience theme may be improved levels of customer preference, the outcome of the Execution theme may be improved economic profit (EP) and so forth.

The result of the adoption of this blueprint is a well understood, measureable and sustainable improvement in competitive advantage and business performance.

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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