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Customer-centric Culture: An Imperative in Today’s Age of the Customer

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Six Building Blocks of a Customer-Centric Organization (32-slide PowerPoint presentation). More and more organizations are shifting a traditional Product-focused model to becoming a Customer-centric Organization. To do this without incurring debilitating costs from added process and organizational complexity, the organization must be build a true Customer-centric Organization by [read more]

Also, if you are interested in becoming an expert on Customer-Centric Design (CCD), take a look at Flevy's Customer-Centric Design (CCD) Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.

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The use of the Internet and other online tools have turned consumers to be more empowered and are now shopping differently. Customers are becoming more demanding and accustomed to getting what they want.

With greater access to reviews and online rating, customers are better equipped to switch to new products and services. Consumers now want to buy products and services when, where, and however they like. They expect companies to interact with them seamlessly, in an easy, integrated fashion with very little friction across channels.

As customer expectation continues to evolve–accelerated by the amplifying forces of interconnectivity and technology–markets are becoming increasingly fragmented with demand for greater product variety, more price points, and numerous purchasing and distribution channels.

Companies should be able to adapt to these increasingly disparate demands quickly and at scale. Staying close to the Customer Experience across an increasingly diverse customer base changing over time is no longer a matter of choice. It is a business imperative and a matter of corporate survival.

The Age of the Customer now calls for companies to be a Customer-centric Organization. Successful ones have discovered that driving customer-centricity depends, first and foremost, on building a Customer-centric Culture.

The Case for Customer-centricity

In the Age of the Customer, business as usual is not enough. Customers expect companies to interact with them seamlessly. Customers want companies to anticipate their needs and technology must have lowered barriers to entry to allow unorthodox competitors to disrupt markets.

The Age of the Customer has made it imperative for companies to have a customer-centric culture. A Customer-centric Culture can empower and control employee behavior. It is a culture that prioritizes the common understanding, sense of purpose, emotional commitment, and resilience. It is a culture where leaders and employees understand the company’s brand promise. Finally, and most importantly, a customer-centric culture is a culture that is committed to delivering exceptional customer experience.

Companies with a Customer-centric Design must integrate, within its core, primary and secondary cultural attributes essential to complete its customer-centric culture framework.

The Corporate Culture Framework: Its Primary and Secondary Cultural Attributes

In a customer-centric Corporate Culture framework, the primary cultural attributes are critical in building a customer-centric culture. It also has 4 Secondary Cultural Attributes to complete that transformation.

The 4 Primary Cultural Attributes

  1. Collective Focus
    This is a shared vision articulated on what it means to deliver great customer service. Significant resources are devoted to communicating the customer value and all employees understand their role in delivering value.
  1. External Orientation
    External Orientation is having a full understanding of the company through the customer’s eyes. Outside-in perspectives are taken, seeing themselves as customers see them.
  1. Change and Innovation
    In Organizational Change and Innovation, the corporate value system is in place that values failing fast and learning quickly. The notion that mistakes are learning opportunities is embedded in the organization.
  1. Shared Beliefs
    Shared Beliefs is an attribute where employees share a common ideology and commitment to core values. The company strongly encourage strong service mentality and the desire to help others.

The 4 Secondary Cultural Attributes

  1. Risk and Governance
    In Risk Management and Governance, the company must have a strong collective focus and shared beliefs about the boundaries of acceptable risk and appropriate behavior.
  1. Courage
    A Customer-centric Culture with this secondary attribute has the resilience to bounce back when things don’t go as planned.
  1. Commitment
    Commitment is the third secondary attribute where employees show dedication to the customer-centric ethos.
  1. Inclusion
    Inclusion, the fourth secondary attribute, is one attribute that reinforces values diversity, authenticity, and uniqueness.

Inculcating these attributes has become imperative to achieve a successful transformation towards a Customer-centric Culture. Strategy Development now requires organizations to master the necessary practices to instill these attributes and the essential reinforcement to ensure that it is sustained.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Customer-centric Culture? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Customer-centric Culture here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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24-slide PowerPoint presentation
Today's customers are better informed, better connected, and more demanding that ever before. CEOs are now concerned about Customer Loyalty and they recognize that mastery of the customer agenda is essential. In fact, global leaders of successful organizations recognize that creating a [read more]

Want to Achieve Excellence in Customer-Centric Design (CCD)?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Customer-Centric Design (CCD). Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

In the modern Digital Age, advances in technology and communication, combined with the explosive growth in data information, have given rise to a more empowered global customer. Recent economic and political events highlight the need for organizations to understand how consumers view the world and the most important attributes for their purchasing decisions.

Thus, increasingly more organizations are seeking to invest and focus on Customer-centric Design. A clear understanding of customer needs and behaviors across the organization will help drive profitable growth strategies and provide the confidence to invest in opportunities at a time when staying within budget can be extremely difficult.

Learn about our Customer-Centric Design (CCD) Best Practice Frameworks here.

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About Joseph Robinson

Joseph Robinson is the Vice President of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is the marketplace for best practices in business management. Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. The documents at Flevy (https://flevy.com) are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience. Flevy covers 200+ management topics, ranging from Digital Transformation to Growth Strategy to Lean Management. You can peruse a full list of management topics available on Flevy here. Prior to Flevy, Joseph worked as an Associate at BCG and holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. You can connect with Joseph on LinkedIn here.

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