Organize for Delivery

You’ll know your organization is fully customer-centric when employees are empathetic and insights drive strategy, products, and experiences. Learn to move in that direction.

What value does your organization gain by becoming more customer-centric?

Adopting a customer-centric model enables your organization to support sustainable growth objectives linked to key value drivers: increased customer acquisition, customer retention, and use of services. The customer-centric approach empowers employees to resolve issues and participate more fully in creating value and benefiting from it. It supports your ability to create more streamlined customer experiences that reduce costs while generating value.

A customer-centric organization creates products and experiences that suit their customers’ needs, wants, and behaviors. Customers feel more comfortable using offerings, asking questions, and complaining when necessary. As a result, the organization sees an increase in retention numbers and has an easier time acquiring new customers through word-of-mouth and brand awareness. A customer-centric organization knows the right kind of research to carry out and markers to look for when expanding to new markets or offering new products and services.

Create 2 Types of Value for Your Customers 

  1. Functional value: What the product or service actually does for the customer. For example, if a product or service doesn’t provide all the benefits a low-income customer thought it would, this may outweigh earlier perceptions of value.
  2. Experiential value: What the customer experiences when using a product or service. Positive experiential value creates strong loyalty – among low-income customers, in particular. 

Key Resources

Woman smiles as she carries wood. Low-income customers and those with less stable income flows like this woman in rural Nepal benefit from financial services and products that suit their needs and behaviors, and make formal financial services more accessible and intuitive for low-income segments.

What’s an effective way to evaluate and demonstrate stakeholder value?

Organizations can explore options for customer-centric investment through a value-based decision-making model. This framework considers existing or potential customers, specific segments, strategic challenges, and opportunities that customer centricity can address. It also helps you analyze expected return on a particular investment over the lifetime of a customer.

1. Strategic Challenges and Opportunities

Organizations need to identify business challenges in order to understand where customer-centered approaches can improve performance. For example, to reduce dormancy rates, you may need to reduce the dissatisfaction customers feel if they don’t understand your products.

2. Customers and Customer Segments

Having identified a problem or opportunity, turn to your customer, potential customer, or segment to understand who they are and what their needs are. Depending on your business model, the “customer” may be an end user of a service or an intermediary who interact with end users. Customer segmentation is a critical component of this process.

3. Return on Investment (ROI)

This framework helps your organization assess potential return on an investment intended to address a problem or opportunity. By calculating the internal rate of return and comparing it to alternative investments, you’ll focus in on investments that maximize return for particular customer segments. For example, capital expenditures might start with investments in data collection and analysis, which are essential for analyzing behavior.

Key Resources

Low-income women customers in Pakistan look at prototype computer screens designed for better, more intuitive, and value-oriented customer experience.

How do you measure whether your employees and agents are customer-centric?

To know whether employees and agents have succeeded in delivering customer experience that generates value for internal and external customers as well your organization, performance must be assessed from all three perspectives. Indicators need to be defined for each, then targets may be set, tracked, and analyzed over time.

Key Resources

Employees of Pioneer Microinsurance in the Philippines learn about building a customer-centric business culture and value for customers in a team meeting.

How do you create a value proposition for internal customers that is attractive now and in the future?

Think of the internal customer value proposition as a package of benefits that your organization offers employees/agents in exchange for them using their resources to help achieve your organization’s vision.

This package of benefits typically includes some form of financial compensation and a few non-financial benefits such as health insurance or vacation time. It does not, however, have to be limited to such a standard contractual offer. In fact, the more standard an organization’s package is, the more difficult it is likely to be to compete with other organizations for talent.

There are at least 9 different types of resources that employees and agents can draw from to deliver a valuable customer experience:

  1. Skills
  2. Values and attitudes
  3. Information and knowledge
  4. Dialogue and support
  5. Control and influence
  6. Tools and infrastructure
  7. Rewards and penalties
  8. Time and energy
  9. Money

Everyone who works for you will have some of these resources to draw from. But few employees or agents will have all the resources they would like to have, and no one will have everything they need to deal with every challenge that comes their way along a customer-centric journey. Thus, when you design a value proposition for an employee or agent, look for ways to increase their access to resources that are lacking or difficult to obtain. 

Key Resources

Man counts money, Jakarta, Indonesia. Entrepreneurs and customers in low-income segments, such as this man, benefit from employees and agents who understand and carry out customer-centric business practices that add value for customers.