Today, many organizations have a myriad of projects designed to help the business become more customer-centric.
Ask anyone in a large government department that is looking to provide better services and improved service for its customers. Or in a large insurance company or a large manufacturer. They will tell you “we have 32 projects on the go for that.” Yes, they do.
But are they effective in achieving their goal? Sometimes, but mostly not!
In too many businesses, there is no overall program that creates a unified focus on customers for everyone in the organization. Without this, you have diverging interests and motivations aligned with specific projects. I am not criticizing people here. It is natural that individuals and teams will enthusiastically work on their own projects. But this can be counterproductive for the organization in moving forward as one unified group. It can enhance silo thinking – not silos around functions but silos around projects. Does this look like your organization?
You must have singular priorities that everyone understands, agrees on, and is motivated to act on. You must have agreed on customer-centric practices and actions that everyone commits to doing. You must have a shared understanding of what your customer segments’ needs are. And you must know, how in your role and function, you can add value for those customers. In short, you need a unified and shared mindset, priorities, and agreed practices that are acted upon day in and day out.
One company we work with has what they call a Success Index. This tool is used by everyone in the business to document the actions they are committed to over 3 months, 6 months, and beyond. Each quarter each individual and their boss reviews their progress and an index is used to measure their success.
This is a simple and powerful tool when used to create unity around a customer mindset supported by tangible practices that lead to increased value for customers and work colleagues.
How do you get started?
First, get feedback from employees on what is working and not working applying the 8 disciplines framework that we know are the foundation of customer-centric practices used by the most highly customer-centric organizations in the world.
Find out more about this research-based 8 disciplines methodology at MarketCulture.