In Customer We Trust


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There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else – Sam Walton

/ˈkəstəmər/ – Oxford describes customer as a person of a specified kind that one has to deal with. 2014 was the year of the customer, the year of Customer Centricity. When the product becomes a commodity the only thing left to invest is the customer relation. It is great to see the change in companies around the world towards their customers. Companies are willing to change their attitude towards a customer first attitude. This is a change in mentality and does not come overnight, rather it is a path, a journey.

Customer loyalty is the buzz word and it is decreasing fast and differentiating products has become more difficult than ever. Customer centricity is the only way to keep your business going. A lot of companies have gone past beyond phase 1 of their customer centricity program. Phase 1 is convincing and changing the front end employees of this need. Customer service employees, sales people are often easily convinced of this need because these are the people who meet clients on a daily basis and understand the power of a positive customer relationship, however if you wish to truly become customer centric then 2015 should be the year of convincing your back end office and having them on the same page as the front end folks. To push customer centricity to the top you need the support of your back office because once you have their buy-in the road to customer centricity will become less bumpy.

Your favorite customer…your worst enemy?

It’s only a matter of time when you realize that your favorite customer has become your next competitor. Look back at what happened in the photography business. Earlier you used to go to a professional photographer to take your matrimonial pictures. But this has changed completely. Due to rising quality of amateur’s camera and easy to use programs like Photoshop, everyone has become a photographer. Here the business did not go to the competitor rather the customer stole the business. Same thing is happening to the travel industry (AirBnB is a perfect example) and the media industry (YouTube). Think about what 3D printers could mean to your market and what will happen if all your clients would own a 3D printer.

Be Vigil

Chances are high that every industry will meet a new competitor soon: their own clients. Monitor small initiatives within your industry and take these small initiatives seriously. Nobody in the travel industry took AirBnB seriously five years ago. Today they have more annual bookings than the Hilton Group. It starts small but it can go very fast. If you follow up on these small initiatives, you may be able to play a role in the initiative. Fighting the customer is very difficult. The travel industry is trying to fight AirBnB through legal channels predictions are that this fight will be lost by the travel industry. Instead of fighting the customer as a competitor, join them and help them. You have a higher chance of success.

I’ve learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

What’s your take? Leave a comment. Follow me @roityadav

Rohit Yadav
Axtria Inc
Rohit Yadav is a customer experience evangelist helping companies identify and make the best use of their key performance indicators and generate insights to improve their customer experience. Rohit is a regular writer on technology, analytics and customer centricity for various leading forums like KDnuggets, Data Science Central, CX Journey, Analytics India Magazine, and


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