Why Should My Company Benchmark Its Customer-Centric Maturity Level?


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Many people ask me when they first approach the customer-centric management philosophy the question: Why should my company benchmark its customer-centric Maturity level? Most of the times my immediate reaction is to ask them back “how do you comfortably make progress in your customer relationships without making sure whether your process, practices and tools are really customer-oriented? or How do you make sure your customer-oriented strategy is worth your time and money?”

But let me explain this a little bit more in detail so that you can grasp the reasons for benchmarking your company’s customer-centric Maturity Level.

Challenging goals ahead

In fact, it all starts when you decide to make your customers your main source of competitive advantage. This is a significant strategic decision and a leap ahead for your organization, that generally entails reflection and action on the good opportunities that lay ahead.

Making up your mind to become a (more) customer-oriented company means that things are going to start changing not only at the operational and organizational level, but also that a cultural shift will need to take place at every level within the organization.

With such ambitious and challenging goals on mind, you will most probably seek support inside and outside your organization and take some time to examine how other companies, mainly the best companies in your industry, have done and performed before you to gain a feet-on-the-ground perspective and new ideas.

Benchmarking provides significant benefits

Well, that is exactly what benchmarking is all about and without even knowing it by comparing your customer-oriented iniative against other companies you are benchmarking your Maturity Level. After all, benchmarking is nothing more than the practice to gather valuable data that help you better manage your customer-oriented initiative, prevent risks and failures, pinpoint your shortcomings and spark new ideas.

The process of benchmarking your Maturity Level involves an orderly approach to assessing key customer-oriented process areas, establishing baselines, defining best practices and improvement opportunities and creating an environment for change within your organization.

Do you realize the power of benchmarking your customer-centric Maturity Level and why the most successful companies in the world incorporate benchmarking into the culture and engage key management members and staff throughout the process?

By benchmarking your customer-centric Maturity level your organization will gain an independent perspective about how well it is performing compared to other companies, clearly identify specific areas of opportunity, validate assumptions, prioritize improvement opportunities, set performance expectations and monitor its performance and manage change.

The benchmarking process is key

However, a well-run benchmarking process is as important as the data that you gather, the best practices you spot and the assessment that comes along with it.

A weak benchmarking process focused on the wrong data can simply make your company get the wrong direction and cost you lot of money. Not to say that it may seriously jeopardize your whole customer-oriented iniative and mislead your efforts towards the customer.

Are you willing to take unnecessary risks? Sure you are not. Therefore you should keep in mind that as important as using a benchmarking approach to know your customer-centric Maturity Level is to embrace the right benchmarking process.

How can a Maturity benchmarking framework help you?

A Maturity benchmarking framework is a powerful tool that will help your organization to stay focused on the right data, work in the relevant process areas and keep aligned with the best practices that really matter to successfully become a more customer-oriented organization.

A Maturity benchmarking framework will definitely save you time and money. And most importantly, it will provide you with reliable data and trustworthy guidelines to stay concentrated on the key goals and process areas to make lasting gains in your business performance and competitiveness. So take your time and choose the right Maturity benchmarking framework that help you identify your customer-centric maturity level. From here on your customer-centric capability will steadily improve as you will more easily capitalize on the opportunities that arise.

Have a happy customer-centered day!

Francisco J Navarro
Francisco J Navarro is Founder and Author of "Smart Customer Management" a management framework to building successful and profitable customer-centered organizations.


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