The world of business has rapidly transformed over the past 15 years. From a world where businesses controlled supply, controlled the message and could dictate terms to customers to one where customers have a much louder and more influential voice.
While we have always been advocates of businesses that act in the best interests of their customers, it seems market forces are now compelling all businesses to behave this way.
So why do we believe 2015 is the year for Customer Centricity? 3 reasons.
1. Customer Feedback Systems are going enterprise wide.
Companies have been measuring customer satisfaction levels for many years. Often these surveys have been conducted once a year, presented and then forgotten about. This type of survey methodology is rapidly changing, becoming real time and supported by great technologies to get the right feedback to the right person at the right time. In fact technology is enabling enterprise wide feedback mechanism that were never previously viable.
While this is a great positive trend for companies that realize they must become more customer centric, it is not enough for these to remain only the domain of customer service or marketing.
Being customer centric is a way of doing business that is not only about sales, marketing and customer service. It involves every department understanding their role in creating a great customer experience. Many forward thinking CEOs recognize this fact and are working on transforming their organizations to meet this challenge.
2. Convergence of customer experience and employee experience.
Today there is a recognition that employee experience impacts customer experience. If employees are not given the opportunity and tools to change the way they work, the customer experience will suffer. Being customer centric means understanding that every interaction with customers allows them to form an impression, good, bad or indifferent. It truly requires everyone in an organization to be engaged in delivering great experiences.
The bottom line here is that you cannot create truly engaged customers without truly engaged and passionate employees.
3. Recognition that Customer Centricity is a Leadership Competency.
Being customer centric, requires leadership that is customer centric. Leaders need to be engaged with customers first hand. Leaders need to immerse themselves in the customer’s environment and experience what customer’s experience. I wrote about Telstra’s (A $20billion telecommunications company) Executive team engaging in this practice previously here. We are seeing this become the norm in many other large businesses around the world.
There is also increasingly a realization that leaders of all disciplines need to develop their customer centric thinking and leadership competencies.
We were recently honoured that our Book, the Customer Culture Imperative was nominated as one of the Top 20 and later short listed after a public voting period to the final 5 for the Marketing Book of the Year – 2015. Perhaps some further proof that Customer Centricity’s time has come!