Being Customer-Centric has always been close to my heart. Practicing it (better or worse) throughout my entire career taught me that this is not about emotional or cultural part of me but it is also about hard facts and numbers, which tell the language of my mind.
I can see that being Customer-Centric takes again its space in numerous new publications, training programs, and business consulting agencies’ offerings. That’s fabulous!
However, as it often happens with any great topic – it is important it is understood correctly (do you remember Balanced Scorecard? I have been presented many of them but believe me – only a few of them were truly balanced, whilst most of them were set of loosely connected KPIs), translated into the company-specific situation and thoroughly implemented.
Being Customer-Centric sounds a no-brainer and I guess we can’t find any CEO who would say her company is not at least striving to be truly customer-centric. But in reality, it is a very serious statement requiring long-term commitments and bold decisions…
But why to be Customer-Centric at all and what does this actually mean? Well, it depends:
- Should we focus and act equally on fulfilling expectations of EVERY CUSTOMER?
- Should we focus on EVERY STAGE of their buying process?
- And by the way WHO IS THE CUSTOMER?
We all have seen this, amplified especially during the pandemic, that the Customers are much more connected nowadays. They search for the best experience at every stage. They don’t care how complex our organizations are. Ignoring our traditional Go-to-Market strategies – THEY will find what they need regardless of touchpoints.
- There is obvious shift in control.
- Customers (as all suppliers) become increasingly digital
- They demand consistent experiences – seeing your business as a whole
So, how to become Customer-Centric? (I will come back to that in my other posts shortly).
I would advise we as suppliers shall really start from understanding THE CONSUMER and then have a thorough plan how to act on those insights!
Yes, you are right, without:
- Setting clear responsibilities (yes – addressing incentive plans as well)
- Setting and communicating short- and long-term goals
- Measuring the progress
It will stay as one of the nice to have corporate statements no one will benefit from.
True Customer-Centricity means that your company will reach profitable, sustainable growth through understanding how the Customer creates value with our products or solutions. And this is a crucial difference to dominating model of being Product-Centric. Customer-centric growth means one shall understand and harness life-time value created not the transactional one!