Customer-centricity: If you believe in it, bet on it


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Otherwise said, put your money where your organizational mouth is.

In a recent post, Patricia Seybold commented on the customer-centric culture and what it looks and feels like when you are inside of it. Basically all actions and decisions at all levels give some consideration to customers.

So you want to show the world your company is customer-centric? As a way of putting bigger stakes in the ground, consider one or more of the following actions.

Any of these can provoke heated resistance if you haven’t built readiness for significant change. But if you want customer-centricity to rock within your company culture, these actions will tell people you are serious.

1. Hang your hat on customer delight instead of contractual hooks. Since many business models depend on locking customers into contracts, this action is a big statement of commitment, but it surely forces you to focus on delighting your customers!

2. Increase transparency of customer-facing operations. Allow key customers better line-of-sight into the business operations that impact them directly, more contact with a wider range of employees, and more opportunity to participate in advisory committees. It may not be something you offer to all of your customers, but for your best customers this sure opens the kimono in ways your competitors might never consider. It’s also a way to ensure the voice of your customer is heard directly and without layers of interpretation.

3. Bust up those silos. Reconfigure functions around customer segments and larger customers. Note that breaking down silos does create some duplication of functional expertise and therefore increases cost to the business. Matrix organizational structures work across traditional silos, but require careful attention from someone senior enough to keep the groups aligned.

4. Live where your customers live. Find ways for key account managers and others to spend more time on client premises, even shadowing how your client creates value for their own customers. This begins to redefine your value in terms of their experience and success, not just in terms of their acquisition of the products or services you provide.

Customer-centricity is both a journey and a shared state of mind. If you want to travel in that direction, build your path forward with footprints that show you are serious.

How is your company taking steps to become more customer-centric?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Marc Sokol
A psychologist with an eye for the ways organizational dynamics make it possible or impossible to delight customers, I see the world from the eyes of customers, employees and leaders who strive to transform customer experience.


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