Why do so many organizations struggle to achieve their business growth objectives? Do your sales & marketing teams know how to engage in an authentic manner to create customer-centricity?
Becoming customer centric sounds good – just put the customer in the center of everything you do. Yet companies still struggle with implementing this seemingly simply concept. Developing a customer-centric organization requires an intentional internal shift that starts at the very top and permeates throughout the entire organization. Download or latest eBook to learn the secrets of becoming a Customer Centric organization.
Of course, first you must make a point of understanding what it is that your customer really wants from you, going beyond a basic survey and developing strategic insights that provide information from internal stakeholders, happy customers, prospects that chose not to buy and customers who left.
OK, so this all sounds simple, and yet we still do not continually put the customer in the center of our organization. Perhaps that is because to become truly customer centric requires a major change in how you view your organization, which can be difficult to handle. After all, not everything they have to say will be positive.
Challenge the Norm: According to an HBR article, “Becoming customer-centric means looking at an enterprise from the outside-in rather than the inside-out — that is, through the lens of the customer rather than the producer. It’s about understanding what problems customers face in their lives and then providing mutually advantageous solutions.” Changing to this perspective means shifting everything inside your organization, particularly your products and services and how you sell them. The following three-pronged approach will help you get started:
• Be Authentic –who you hire, how you hire and how you empower your employees to act on behalf of your customers drives how authentic your organization is. Authenticity requires a level of transparency your company most likely has not promoted in the past. Choosing authenticity will build trust more quickly because the level of consistency you have been striving to achieve happens naturally.
• Communicate – remove any silos that prevent open communication internally and completely open lines of communication to customers. Develop full-circle communication that ensures customers can access every level of the organization as they need, and that all employees are empowered to help a customer with their issue. Ask customers regularly what they think. When Best Buy polled their customers, they discovered that most were women and that women did not like to set up electronics. Geek Squad was born and brought a new service and new level of customer focus needed to truly serve their customers.
• Collaborate – nothing happens without true collaboration which happens both internally and with customers. Now more than ever customers have a strong voice. They can tell everyone what they think of your organization via social media channels. Collaborate with your customers to understand the needs and desires they have for your brand – why they buy from you, why they choose you over the competition, how you can better serve them going forward. Remember good collaboration is not an “ask and answer” session. It is involving customers in developing new products or services, asking for opinions along the way and continuing to reach out and ask for their help.
Customer centric organizations are simply more successful. Think about the most customer centric organization you know. They choose to involve customers in a way most organizations would not dream of doing. Customers are the way to greater growth. Let them tell you what they want and growth will happen more quickly.