Customer Experience News & Trends

3 keys to become a customer-centric company

Stop imagining and make it happen.

“The problem often is none of us have the same shared vision of success with customers,” says Patrick Morrissey, CMO of Altify. “You can reach customer-centricity when everybody understands and works toward the long-term goals.”

How do you get there? When you help everyone attain the mindset, skill set and tool set to embrace and improve the customer experience.

Here are best practices for each, pulled from organizations that have had success.

Create the mindset

The customer-centric mindset starts with executive sponsorship. The top offices need to believe they’re “in the business of making their customers successful,” Morrissey says.

For instance, WorkDay made a move “from inside-out thinking to outside-in thinking.” Executives started to make more decisions first based on how they would affect customers. Then they encouraged the same kind of thinking at all levels in the organization.

Build the skill set

This is the most important step to becoming a customer-centric organization. Give employees the skills and knowledge to put customers first.

Morrissey suggests:

  • Start from the bias of customers at the center of everything. Create processes and mechanisms that connect people across departments so they have the same up-to-date information on customers at their fingertips – whether they use or need it every day or not.
  • Build a map of the customer journey and pinpoint where everyone can have an impact on the journey. Scrub the map and shared information clean of acronyms and departmental language and use a common language so you reach a point where everyone can say, “We understand their goals and priorities,” Morrissey says. This can be as simple as daily updates on a white board or an email message or as elaborate as a new CRM system.
  • Invite a crowd to review customer activity. Expand on “deal reviews,” which usually involve executives, and sales and service professionals. Start “account reviews” that might include representatives from Finance, Marketing, IT, Supply Chain. Ask them all what problems or potential they see.

“Some of the best insight and feedback often comes from people who aren’t directly involved with the customer every day,” Morrissey says. “They have the most creative ideas” on how to enhance the customer experience.

Optimize the tool set

To improve the tool set, organizations want to knock down the silos. If the customer isn’t on everyone’s radar every week, they won’t likely become and stay customer-centric.

One way: Share customer success stories at least monthly in email. Highlight things people outside the normal customer contact points did to help customers. Give tips on how everyone can improve a customer experience or offer suggestions on ways to improve processes and protocols.

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