The Customer Centricity Principle
The Customer Journey…At the Center of your Activities.
Customer Centricity as an inseparable part of your organization's DNA.
Three decades of global change management taught us that an organization’s ability to align its business activities with the Customer Journey is the key factor of sustainable profitability.
We have identified eight drivers of success that play a pivotal role in establishing a strong Customer Centricity Culture.
Customer-Centric organizations are well-positioned for:
Improved identification and lock-in of new customer segments due to better customer insight...
Long-term sustainability resulting from higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and brand advocacy...
Reduced vulnerability to market fluctuations and changing behavior...
Up to 60% higher profits than peers due to an overall better performance.
Drivers 1&2 - Customer-Centric Leadership & Strategic Management
Customer-Centric leadership is the first and clearly the most important driver of success.
It takes perseverant leadership to orchestrate and apply the 8 Customer Centricity drivers consistently on a daily basis.
Customer-Centric leaders address and resolve operational customer issues pragmatically, while relentlessly driving conceptual customer related topics forward in parallel.
Creating a superb Customer Journey concerns all company functions, not only the marketing and customer facing roles.
Hence, at a strategic management level (see exhibit a) we utilize all available functions, instruments and best practices to prepare for each of the company's target customer segments their optimal and individual experience journey.
Once a shared vision is created, this consequently forms the basis of the customer centricity objectives, strategies, and KPIs driving aligned and complementing customer metrics at all levels of the organization. The ultimate goal is to ensure cross-functional collaboration at a tactical and operational level to ensure an optimal customer experience time after time.
Drivers 3&4 - Product & Customer Journey Design
Product -and Customer Journey Design are next in line ensuring that the brand promise and service concept are translated into tangible deliverables that are meeting, or even better, exceeding your customer's expectations.
Based on the principles of 'design thinking', cross-functional teams are continuously gathering reliable customer input -and feedback with the shared goal of creating the ultimate experience when your customers are utilizing your products and services.
Sound service recovery policies and procedures at each stage of the customer experience journey play an essential role as to making the difference when it really matters!
An iterative process between (prospect) customers, marketers, frontline staff, and all other functional process contributors (e.g. legal, finance, administration, IT, procurement, etc.).
Drivers 5&6 - Staff Engagement and Frontline Staff Empowerment
Various studies report that businesses with higher employee engagement levels score up to 15% points higher in customer satisfaction ratings and are up to 30% more profitable than those with low staff engagement ratings.
People are making the difference, regardless whether we are considering customer facing staff or the IT engineers that design the digital interfaces that are part of the overall customer journey experience.
Moreover, along the customer experience journey many unexpected things can occur and it takes engaged and empowered staff ( driver no. 6) to ensure that customers are receiving the service that they expect and customer loyalty is cemented when it really matters.
Driver 7&8 - Customer Feedback and Business Metrics
Customer Feedback (no. 7) and Business Metrics (no. 8) are a direct reflection of the organization's ambitions, goals, and actual performance towards a Customer Centricity Culture.
Customer Insight should be a central theme at each stage of the business cycle.
At a strategic management level, customer insight is playing a pivotal role in, for instance, strategy development, and brand positioning, digital transformation, product -and customer journey design.
At a tactical and operational level we create and utilize customer insight at each stage of the customer journey (see exhibit b), starting with brand awareness -and brand image measurement amongst prospects, to customer effort and satisfaction, brand advocacy -and loyalty at the buying, usage, -and post-usage stages.
To confirm the pivotal role of Customer Centricity as the ultimate driver of sustainable results and best in class profitability, each role and each team at every level of the organization should have its own set of relevant customer metrics.
On weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, you need to ensure that you have insight in all leading customer metrics. Leading metrics give you an excellent prediction of future lagging indicators like revenue, profit margin, and cash flow.
Secondly, it's essential that you act upon negative indicators instantly and follow through until the root cause has been identified, dealt with effectively, and monitored so that the trend is going into the right direction again.