The use of the Internet and other online tools have turned consumers to be more empowered and are now shopping differently. Customers are becoming more demanding and accustomed to getting what they want.
With greater access to reviews and online rating, customers are better equipped to switch to new products and services. Consumers now want to buy products and services when, where, and however they like. They expect companies to interact with them seamlessly, in an easy, integrated fashion with very little friction across channels.
As customer expectation continues to evolve–accelerated by the amplifying forces of interconnectivity and technology–markets are becoming increasingly fragmented with demand for greater product variety, more price points, and numerous purchasing and distribution channels.
Companies should be able to adapt to these increasingly disparate demands quickly and at scale. Staying close to the Customer Experience across an increasingly diverse customer base changing over time is no longer a matter of choice. It is a business imperative and a matter of corporate survival.
The Age of the Customer now calls for companies to be a Customer-centric Organization. Successful ones have discovered that driving customer-centricity depends, first and foremost, on building a Customer-centric Culture.
The Case for Customer-centricity
In the Age of the Customer, business as usual is not enough. Customers expect companies to interact with them seamlessly. Customers want companies to anticipate their needs and technology must have lowered barriers to entry to allow unorthodox competitors to disrupt markets.
The Age of the Customer has made it imperative for companies to have a customer-centric culture. A Customer-centric Culture can empower and control employee behavior. It is a culture that prioritizes the common understanding, sense of purpose, emotional commitment, and resilience. It is a culture where leaders and employees understand the company’s brand promise. Finally, and most importantly, a customer-centric culture is a culture that is committed to delivering exceptional customer experience.
Companies with a Customer-centric Design must integrate, within its core, primary and secondary cultural attributes essential to complete its customer-centric culture framework.
The Corporate Culture Framework: Its Primary and Secondary Cultural Attributes
In a customer-centric Corporate Culture framework, the primary cultural attributes are critical in building a customer-centric culture. It also has 4 Secondary Cultural Attributes to complete that transformation.
The 4 Primary Cultural Attributes
- Collective Focus
This is a shared vision articulated on what it means to deliver great customer service. Significant resources are devoted to communicating the customer value and all employees understand their role in delivering value.
- External Orientation
External Orientation is having a full understanding of the company through the customer’s eyes. Outside-in perspectives are taken, seeing themselves as customers see them.
- Change and Innovation
In Organizational Change and Innovation, the corporate value system is in place that values failing fast and learning quickly. The notion that mistakes are learning opportunities is embedded in the organization.
- Shared Beliefs
Shared Beliefs is an attribute where employees share a common ideology and commitment to core values. The company strongly encourage strong service mentality and the desire to help others.
The 4 Secondary Cultural Attributes
- Risk and Governance
In Risk Management and Governance, the company must have a strong collective focus and shared beliefs about the boundaries of acceptable risk and appropriate behavior.
A Customer-centric Culture with this secondary attribute has the resilience to bounce back when things don’t go as planned.
Commitment is the third secondary attribute where employees show dedication to the customer-centric ethos.
Inclusion, the fourth secondary attribute, is one attribute that reinforces values diversity, authenticity, and uniqueness.
Inculcating these attributes has become imperative to achieve a successful transformation towards a Customer-centric Culture. Strategy Development now requires organizations to master the necessary practices to instill these attributes and the essential reinforcement to ensure that it is sustained.
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Today’s customers are better informed, better connected, and more demanding than ever before. CEOs are now concerned about Customer Loyalty and they recognize that mastery of the customer agenda is essential. In fact, global leaders of successful businesses recognize that creating a customer-centric, digitally-transformed business is a top priority.
In this age of digital disruption, how can organizations engage customers, increase Customer Loyalty, and achieve profitable growth? What is most appropriate when it comes to Customer-centric design?
Almost every market is experiencing a fundamental change. Consumer expectations have shifted and digital technologies are making the biggest impact on businesses large and small since the start of the information age. Ultimately, businesses need to navigate the challenges of digital disruption and find new ways to create economic value and drive growth.
The challenge today is what it takes for organizations to be a Customer-centric Organization.
Unraveling the 6 Core Capabilities of a Customer-centric Organization
A Customer-centric Organization must have 6 Core Capabilities to compete in the Digital Age. In this global time, customer-centricity ceases to be a differentiator. It has become a matter of survival.
The first 2 Core Capabilities are Customer-directed. These are Customer Strategy and Customer Experience (CX).
- Customer Strategy. The first core capability, Customer Strategy is focused on addressing changing customer needs and behavior. It involves the development of a clear view of customer behavior and intentions using data and analytics. Customer Strategy can be applied in several ways. It can be used to refine and develop a proposition or even inform major investments in new media content.
- Customer Experience (CX). Customer Experience (CX) is that core capability that generates a significant competitive advantage – a double revenue growth against industry counterparts. It is being able to respond to customer needs balanced with understanding the values customers bring to the enterprise. The world’s most advanced customer businesses often undertake customer journey mapping and experience design which are critical to executing customer-centric change.
The second 2 Core Capabilities focus on front office capability and across the enterprise value chain. These are Sales & Service Transformation and Connected Enterprise.
- Sales & Service Transformation. As the third core capability, Sales & Service Transformation is essential to becoming a customer-responsive business. This is a newly digitized and fully integrated front office capability that can attract, engage, acquire, and continually engage with customers. With the modernization and transformation of front office functions, Marketing, Sales, and Service teams get to have better ideas on how to work together more effectively. This leads to a full end-to-end Business Transformation. A core concept to Service Transformation is the development of Service 4.0 capabilities.
- Connected Enterprise. Focused on delivering differentiated Customer Experiences, Connected Enterprise is an architecture of fundamental capabilities that work across the Enterprise Value Chain, from back office operations through customer-facing interactions. The application of Connected Enterprises has led to companies experiencing an increase in annual revenue and a positive return on investment.
The third 2 Core Capabilities are Data & Analytics and Digital Transformation — your company’s response to a highly demanding digital market.
- Data & Analytics. The fourth core capability is Data & Analytics. This core capability is focused on creating actionable insights that drive profitable growth. With the use of Data & Analytics, it can uncover patterns of customer behavior, relevant social media influencers, and channel preferences. It is useful in personalizing propositions, channels, marketing communication, and the experiences offered to customers.
- Digital Transformation. The sixth core capability, this is the core capability that can power new ways to engage customers, optimize operations, and transform products. Digital Transformation is delivering the right customer and digital technology. With the advent of virtual reality, augmented reality headsets, the Internet of Things, AI, and cognitive computing, it has changed the way customer-centric companies engage customers. Digital Transformation is not an overnight event. This is a series of incremental steps, each delivering a concrete business advantage.
Developing the 6 Core Capabilities is no easy task. It can be pretty challenging. Companies need to have a good handle of its key challenges and the right approaches to mastering the 6 Core Capabilities. When this is achieved, the high road to global competitiveness is achieved.
Interested in gaining more understanding of these 6 core Capabilities of a Customer-centric Organization? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about the 6 Core Capabilities of a Customer-centric Organization here on the Flevy documents marketplace. There is a series of 3 presentations – Part I, Part II, and Part III that discusses all 6 Core Capabilities.
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