As customer expectations continue to evolve it is proving increasingly difficult for  any enterprises to remain customer focused.

Several recent research papers have shown that customers are increasingly prepared to pay more for a product or purchase additional products where they have had a great customer experience. That research also suggests customers seem more focused on service differentiation than price or product.

Over time we have assisted a number of enterprises to focus on improving and building on their customer experience in order to establish a clear point of difference, and typically they share a number of similar traits or habits.

Our experience suggests that there are seven interlinked and nonnegotiable habits that define the culture of these successful customercentric businesses.

Truly customer-centric businesses:

  • LISTEN to their customers, their frontline staff values, and to feedback – and they act on it!
  • THINK about the implications of fact-based decisions from a customer’s perspective; they do not create artificial barriers by approaching interactions from an organisational chart perspective
  • INNOVATE by creating services and products that are driven by customer  demand to meet or exceed customer expectations, and create a true point of difference 
  • EMPOWER employees with the freedom and authority they need to delight customers quicker – there are far higher levels of first point resolution, where many traditional ‘back office’ decisions are now firmly entrenched in the ‘front office’
  • CREATE new value for customers without being asked – they value effectiveness over efficiency and understand the customer journey. They know where their customers have been, and where they are most likely to journey next 
  • DELIGHT customers by exceeding their expectations. Consistently
  • VALUES are positively aligned right across the business – from top to bottom, the culture, co-operation and levels of positive engagement are obvious 

My question is; “given these values nearly always create low cost customer focused enterprises, what do you think is stopping so many enterprises from pursuing these proven principles?” 

A r t i c l e wr i t t e n b y St e v e Mi t c h in s o n
S t r a t e g i c a n d Ma n ag emen t P r o fe s s i o n a l
J U L Y 8, 2014