In a customer-centric organization, every department has a responsibility to the customer. Whether you are developing a product, managing a project, adjusting the balance sheet or writing thought-leadership content, there are multiple activities and responsibilities that have a direct connection to your customers. However, individuals in departments that are not customer-facing are often too caught up in their day-to-day deliverables to recognize that what they are working on is bigger than just a feature, a timeline or a quarterly forecast. They directly contribute to the customer.
When a customer-centric organization is taking shape, it first and foremost requires executive sponsorship. And executive support should go beyond championing the formation of a customer success team. Starting with the CEO, everyone should formulate a mindset to ask themselves on a daily basis – “what is my contribution to the customer?” Some straightforward answers could be: “I finished developing a feature requested by 10 of our power users” or “I engaged 5 customers who seemed to be stuck on how to use our calendar feature” or “I started implementing an easier billing system”.
Here are some things that will help your organization stay customer-centric:
- Establish at least one corporate goal to measure contribution to the customer and share it with the team. You can even share this goal with your customer.
- Have your departments share their answer to the question “what did I contribute to the customer today?” This will help you gauge how well your customer-centric organization is functioning. Is everyone spending time on the right initiatives, and how well do those initiatives demonstrate your customer-centricity.
- Schedule regular meetings to review the goals everyone has set for their contributions and create action plans to continuously improve the ways in which your organization centers around the customer.
- Interview or survey customers to understand their expectations and their perspective. When it comes to their best interest and how much they benefit from working with you, they always know best.
- Brag a little. Let the world know what you’ve contributed to the customer today: Twitter, Blogs, emails… This is an opportunity to show prospects that they, too, will benefit from doing business with you.
What did you contribute to your customer today?