These days, a lot of companies talk about customer experience, customer centricity, customer focus, and customer obsession. And it all sounds great. It is exactly the right thinking, and it is something that nobody can really object to or debate in terms of the correctness of the sentiment. However, being customer focused is more than loving customers or putting customers first. It requires a massive change internally at your organization.
To pull off a customer-centric approach, an organization needs a complete alignment to make that possible. It needs to impact every corner of the organization to be effective. There needs to be realignment to transition from statements and sound bites to customer-focused action.
For every employee to adopt a customer-centric mindset, every employee must understand the organization’s customers. Organizations need open access to customer insights for all employees. It doesn’t work to store customer understandings in the sales and marketing groups and then expect other departments to focus solely on their functions. All this creates is siloed activity throughout the organization, which ultimately hurts the customer-centric efforts. Each employee in the organization must understand not only customer needs but how to do their functions to increase the performance of our customers’ business.
Employee culture needs to be linked to customer outcomes. The adage “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” applies to customer centricity, too. Managers will be motivated and equipped to cultivate a customer-centric culture if they know if and how it impacts results, so organizations should ensure they establish and track the link between culture and customer impact
Another option is a compensation program tying every employee to the customer. The short-term cash incentive plan reflects the company’s revenue performance as well as customer success measures such as retention. The program not only makes contributions tangible to the customer that every employee makes but also produces organization-wide alignment because everyone is working toward the same goals.
What excited me about Perficient is that they don’t talk about customers; they let their actions speak louder than their words. At Perficient, we are not constantly on social media highlighting customer wins or every little thing we are doing. Instead, we are quietly exceeding customer expectations and understanding our results are not about Perficient. In fact, for the most part, our results are not about our customers either. Our customers’ consumers and how they react to the businesses we serve is what’s most important. By leveraging journey science and telematics in our automotive practice, we focus on increasing the customer lifetime value by:
We look forward to serving our customers. We look forward to transforming businesses and lives. Mostly, the victories we accomplish are not about Perficient. It’s about our customers and their customers.