Employees are the driving force for change, but initially they may be your greatest roadblock. Willingness to embrace change and focus on customers (and learning to connect with them) requires a shift in mindset. Listening skills and the ability to empathize are essential for understanding the obstacles customers face – and for creating solutions. Drive the mindset shift through role playing, immersion programs that connect employees with customers’ everyday experiences, and storytelling that reinforces the language of change and applauds the success of new approaches.
What hurdle must organizations overcome to achieve customer-centric transformation?
How do you recruit, retain, and empower customer-centric employees and agents?
A customer-centric organization faces 3 main business challenges:
- getting customers
- keeping customers
- expanding the value of customer relationships
These challenges must be addressed not only for external customers (end users), but also for internal customers – the employees and agents who deliver your organization’s products and services. Customer-centric organizations sometimes refer to their employees and agents as “first customers” because they recognize that unless employees and agents buy into the organization’s customer-centric vision of success, they’ll never be able to deliver a customer-centric experience.
The key to creating, sustaining, and expanding relationships with customer-centric employees and agents is to recognize that they, too, are customers, and to offer them a value proposition that’s attractive relative to the competition – and remains attractive over time.
How do you integrate data and insights into your organization’s DNA?
Collecting and using customer data is critical for decision-making. Data points can help you tweak products and experiences, understand customers, and make the case for new investments.
Start by understanding the data you already collect – and how it’s used. Next, identify whether you have the right pieces to analyze your business from a customer perspective. Look for key measures like net promoter scores, loyalty measure indexes, customer satisfaction indexes, and customer effort scores.
Determine whether you’re listening to customers and interacting with them. Build insights capabilities by listening to the voice of the customer – an ongoing two-way dialogue between your organization and your customers. More than just remediating customer service issues, voice of the customer is crucial to designing and delivering better services. Finally, evaluate if you have what it takes to act on qualitative and quantitative insights.
How does an “insights engine” bring your organization closer to customer centricity?
An insights engine helps organizations constantly generate and use customer insights. There are four ways to churn insights through your organization:
By Organizational Structure: Assign an insights expert or insights team member to each department. Integrate insights into product and service design. Form a customer insights council.
By Operational Model: Launch a portal to store research findings. Map the customer journey. Prototype and test.
By Organizational Culture: Coordinate insights across functions. Establish practices to share insights. Ensure that leadership and employees understand customers.
By Core Capability: Assign employees to the roles of insights expert and insights librarian. Conduct customer insights trainings.