Customer Centricity

“Customer Centricity” is the latest buzz-word across the globe. Be it a banking organization, a telecom company, an insurance firm, an IT services organization, an entrepreneurial venture or a retail business.
At a high level, “Customer Centricity” translates to the following:

Know Your Customer: What this entails is to:
Know the Customer Profile – Based on the business that an organization is in, information about the customer profile varies. For e.g.: In a B2B scenario, customer profile includes information on the organizations history, its vision, its values, its offerings, its management, its employees, its location, its clients, etc.
Know the Customers Plans – An overall understanding of where the customer is headed is important. What are the short term, medium and long term plans? And more specifically, what the customer is planning with respect to the offerings relevant to your organization.
Know the Customers Priorities – This will help in getting insights to the customer’s point of view; specifically on where they would be willing to invest their time, their money and their resources.
Know the Customers Preferences – Every customer has their unique preferences. Investing time in learning these enables an organization to align and position their offerings accordingly.

Understand Your Customer: The next step is to process all the customer information to understand the customer. Many organizations do a great job of information capture but forget to do the required due diligence to understand the customer. What it translates to is:
Get the Big Picture – This means processing and analyzing the customer information to get a holistic view of the customer. If an organization is able to piece the big picture from the customer’s point of view, they usually are able to successfully work with the customer.
Identify the Requirements which are relevant to your organization – An organization needs to have the required maturity and business acumen to extract customer requirements relevant to their business context and offerings.

Service Your Customer: The third step is to service your customer’s requirements as per the pre-defined agreements. Typically the date of completion, quality and scope of work is non-negotiable. What is important in the long run is to consistently honor these contractual commitments.

Invest in Customer Relationships: Building customer relationships is the one of most important step in Customer Centricity. However, also the most overlooked. This means building meaningful long term bonds with the customer – One which provides the opportunity to play additional roles and wear alternate hats – that of an advisor, a mentor, a true consultant, a confidant, a strategic associate, and lastly that of a valued partner.

Originally published @