While some organizations need to engage in large transformation projects that involve seismic changes in business models, technology, products and services, and people, to survive, these are the exception rather than the norm.
Many leaders believe that changing to a stronger customer-centric business requires disruptive change with a high risk of failure, so they fail to act. Yes, it can be risky, as many case studies point out.
Many customer-centric initiatives lack the right measurement and lack a coherent strategy to strengthen the foundation of customer-centricity – culture. They also include too many projects that dilute focus and diffuse efforts. By not including these crucial ingredients, initiatives falter, and engagement and buy-in of leaders and employees is lost.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Strengthening your customer-centric culture can be achieved with consistent, easy-to-implement, practices that everyone in an organization can adopt. It should be preceded by measurement to know where you stand, so you don’t spend money on initiatives that are not necessary. Also, you will identify those initiatives that will make a significant difference.
Many of the world’s best practices are simple and easy to implement such as placing “customer” as the starting item on the agenda at every meeting. You will need to create a logic as to “why” meetings should start with a discussion about customers and an emotional connection that includes a customer story as to how those discussions benefit customers, employees, and the business.
If this, and other easy-to-adopt practices are implemented and become habits of behavior, your customer culture will become stronger. In addition, all the other things you do, such as getting feedback from customers and collaborating in teams to create value for customers, will multiply the benefits to your customers, your team, and your business.
The trick is to first know where you stand through measurement. This is the catalyst to gain buy-in and commitment from leaders and employees to implement specific practices. Then, check progress along the way and measure the benefits.
If you follow this process, your teams and your organization will transform before your eyes – and it will not only be painless, but it will be easy to continue. The risks are low and the payoffs can be high!
Result? Engaged and inspired leaders and team members. Appreciative and loyal customers. Growth and profit for the business. Satisfied shareholders.
What’s in it for you as a leader of this approach?
Great satisfaction from making a real difference and rapid promotion based on demonstrated success!
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