Sunday, September 6, 2020

Improving Customer-Centricity by Overcoming a Set of Pitfalls

The goal of shaping a customer-centric organization is to architect an organization for bringing value to customers in ways that are beneficial for them while also creating added value for the company itself. 

The digital era upon us is about options and customer-centricity. Being customer-centric is the core of corporate strategy in forward-looking digital organizations. An enterprise can take meaningful initiatives to improve the customer experience for generating business value. 

There are many key factors in achieving customer-centricity, but also have a lot of barriers on the way. The business management needs to start with a healthy dose of introspection, identify and avoid the following pitfalls in order to build a truly customer-centric organization.

Take the “plunge” without holistic planning: Digital is the age of customers. But many companies jump straight, and grasp for quick experience wins without reflecting on whether their existing structure and culture are up to the task. Customer Experience needs to be designed, planned, and delivered by the cross-functional business collaboration, not a silo. There must be continuity and everyone must own it. It’s important to lean on customers, focus on creating value for customers in every step. It’s also critical to build a "business logic" or "behavioral value chain" between the inputs - intermediate steps - outcomes. Taking the “plunge” without holistic planning perhaps creates silo or decelerates business speed sooner or later.

Being customer-centric needs to have a more organic structure to empower than control, to engage than command, and to be more dynamic than static. Map the behavior value chain or link the workforce metrics to customer satisfaction. Unpack the employee inputs - product quality - customer satisfaction chain to determine what constitutes each of the parts and the strength, and direction of the various links in the chain. The business management should take account of various contextual factors, make the balance of customer satisfaction and business profitability. Not only shall you embrace loyal, repeat customers, but also care about your unhappy customers because your most unhappy customers are the ones you will learn most from.

Grasp quick wins but losing the long term prosperity: Building a customer-centric business requires visionary leadership that nurtures and rewards an organizational culture focused on putting the customer at the center of every employees' short and long term business purposes. In reality though, sometimes, enthusiasm from one part of the organization for a quick customer win without ensuring that the rest of the organization is exactly on the same page. Or organizations grasp quick wins but lose the long term prosperity. In some businesses, excessive focus on "being perfect" results in introspection, under-delegation, and unwillingness to admit any failures/shortcomings. The leader suffers, the staff suffers, and customers suffer.

Be a listening ear, resolve, and implement a resolution without a lack of respect for all parties. Culture becomes the way we do business, customer-centricity should be embedded in the corporate culture. Customer relationships are a reflection of the company's internal relationships. The company goals, policies, processes, customer experience improvement efforts, all should be synchronized without compromising the need for any item in order to run a customer-centric business.

Customer-centricity is a lip service without going deeper and measuring tangible business value: You can only manage what you measure. A clear understanding of the monetary benefits the customer is going to realize the intended change. First, understand your customers and what they value, and then identify how to best characterize that value through a set of well-defined key indicators, and then define those measures appropriate to best assess the performance of how well they satisfy or delight customers. Customer satisfaction to be a KPI and the defined area should possess a goal and measurement indicator stating that businesses are hitting or missing the objective.

In today's world if you can think that a product is a technical solution to a business problem on how to delight the customer, then you have achieved a great success of paradigm shift. In a back-office scenario, the customer-facing employees will be better suited to handle customer-related problems/issues and suggest solutions to the satisfaction of the customers, since they will have a better understanding of the business system and its capabilities.

The goal of shaping a customer-centric organization is to architect an organization for bringing value to customers in ways that are beneficial for them while also creating added value for the company itself. Customer-focused enterprise vision, strategy, and governance model should enforce the alignment of the various silos towards customer-centric business solutions and delivery mechanisms. This also provides the potential for improving enterprise effectiveness and efficiency, and ultimately organizational maturity.


Post a Comment