It’s a painful and frustrating experience to discover you’ve become too internally orientated, that your customer has changed and that your business is no longer where it needs to be.
You want to change direction and embrace better ways to become more relevant, but how can you keep the wheels of your business in motion while rebuilding the track?
Rubica is an organisational change consultancy that helps companies, big and small, re-balance their business and bring the customer back into sharper focus by improving their culture, processes, strategy, structure and performance measures. Here are our six top tips to kick-start a customer-centric change within your business, and make it stick...
It may seem obvious that to become a more customer-centric organisation, you need to realign your business but remember; many people within your business will be too removed from the ‘front line’ to:
Help them buy-in by encouraging leaders to paint a clear, detailed picture that explains:
The market has changed
The disruption in the market
The customer has shifted towards new habits, platforms and geographies
Loss of relevancy
Loss of revenue
Loss of morale
Increased new business opportunities
To become the long-term partner of choice with the most valuable customers
Increased morale and motivation
The answers to these questions are the key ingredients of your change story. The objective of which is to help people align around a common goal and galvanise them into action.
This should spark plenty of healthy debates to draw out the tension and get everyone focusing around one clear ambition: To build a stronger business by adopting a more customer-centric culture.
Our customers are one of the most important people to our business, so even if we think we know them well enough, we don’t.
That’s why it’s important to consider things on their terms and force yourself to see the world through their eyes.
How does your product, brand or service fit in to their experience and does it match their expectations? What are the areas that need improving and the opportunities for growth?
Use a tool like the STAR model to examine key aspects of your business; from your strategy to your structure, systems, processes, KPI’s, ways of working and commonly held beliefs.
Now you have a complete picture of your organisation, ask yourself, where does the customer fit in?
Finding a lack of customer-centric thinking in key areas is the first step to figuring out which parts of the business should be tweaked to bring the customer back into balance.
Change is far easier, more effective and long lasting when it is planned and executed together as a team. So, leave hierarchy at the door and hold good cross-functional debates which involve many ‘levels’ of the organisation. Together, you should create and commit to just one list that clearly states the big and small changes you’ll be laser-focused on. This should begin with the fundamental changes that will deliver the most value quickly, whilst moving you closer to your longer-term goals.
Measures drive conversation and shape company direction, so make sure your customers are part of your measurement framework.
Both recognition and rewards also help to reinforce the right behaviours and ways of working, so don’t forget to celebrate customer centricity throughout the business.
Remember, if we think we know our customers, we don’t. There’s always something new to learn!
Truly customer-centric organisations keep the customer close and remember to consider their needs when planning, executing and measuring all aspects of their business. For many companies, this goal represents a journey which Rubica is proud to help them facilitate.