How much do you really know about your customers? 5 areas to look into


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How much do you really know about your customers?

If you are going to create superior value for your customers through the Value Proposition and the associated Customer Experience then you need to have sound insight into the lives of your customers. Which is why in my model Customer Insight, Value Proposition and Customer Experience are interlinked.

How much do you really know about your customer? Allow me to be more specific – how much time, effort and emotional investment have you made into stepping into and living the lives of your customers? Have you even spent a day walking in their shoes seeing what they see, hearing what they hear, experiencing what they experience and possibly thinking and feeling what they feel? What kind of insight would be available if you were to step into the customer’s shoes and live their life for a week? Who in your organisation had done that even once?

Word are easy, deeds are harder. My experience is that few organisations truly understand their customers because it is still rare for people within the organisation to walk in the shoes of their customers and experience the world through the minds and bodies of their customers. Yet, this is exactly what is needed if you are to come up with both the insight and the emotion around that insight that inspires you to make the changes that will create value for your customers.

Shifting from an organisation-centric mindset to a customer-centric mindset

The more I dive into Customer Experience and Customer-Centricity the more convinced I become that what we are really taking about is business model innovation (including leadership, culture, mission & strategy) – the outer ring of my Create Superior Value framework (the first diagram in this post). As such I wish to share with you a table that I adapted from Osterwalder & Pigneur’s book:


Shifting from a company-centric to a customer-centric mindset can be remarkably difficult – most people live and breathe the organisation so their natural, taken for granted, way of being, seeing and doing is company centric.

Only those people who have a strong enough reason (competitive forces) or a strong desire will step into the customer shoes and by doing so they will shift their perspective from company-centric to customer-centric. Therein lies the opportunity: to come up with novel insights that are simply not available to those looking at customers from afar with industry/company coloured telescope.

What do you think?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Maz Iqbal
Experienced management consultant and customer strategist who has been grappling with 'customer-centric business' since early 1999.


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