Shifting Focus to the Customer, Not the Product

Many organizations have struggled with moving from product-centric to customer-centric over the years. Some have achieved this transformation, others have not. Of course, this transformation is just the beginning, as improving the customer experience will always be a journey and not a destination. However, for those well along the path toward being customer-centric, the results have been clearly positive.

Five Key Elements in Transforming the Customer Experience

Transformation is not easy. According to an article published by McKinsey, the most important criteria for getting a transformation effort off to a fast start is to find the parts of the organization where a leader and at least some employees want to change. These prospective change agents can be high performers who want to get better or stragglers who need to improve quickly. Either way, picking those who are the most willing can ensure you get off the starting-block quickly. The article goes on to provide five essential elements to achieving a customer experience transformation, as illustrated in the following info-graphic:

This is a great guideline. It starts with identifying your change agents within the organization and defining your vision. Governance and ownership around the implementation and execution of your vision is critical and will be key to the success of your transformation.

From there you embark on your initiatives and measure performance and progress. Continuous change management is also increasingly important, as the more you improve, the higher the expectations become.

Look to Industry Leaders as Examples

A commitment to following this guideline is imperative as the journey will not be an easy one. However, for those that chose the path to transforming to a customer-centric organization focused on continuous improvement of the customer experience, the ROI has been there in both the bottom-line and brand recognition.

Here is a list from a Forbes article of five organizations with great customer service, as published by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), along with some commentary. These organizations have made the transformation and you should hopefully recognize these names.

1. Chick-fil-A

Category: Limited-Service Restaurant

Score: 86.0

ACSI commentary: “Chick-fil-A seems to have the recipe for great customer experiences with its more focused menu and great service.”

Customers say: “The professionalism and courtesy of the Chick-fil-A staff are far superior to any other chain restaurant I’ve frequented.”

Claim to fame: Its employees were rated the most polite in their industry category. When it comes to companies that have the best customer service, Chick-fil-a can’t fly any higher.

2. Trader Joe’s

Category: Supermarkets

ACSI Score: 85.4

ACSI commentary: “From its private label staples to its organic produce, Trader Joe’s has carved out a niche that has propelled its rapid growth.”

Customers say: “From the selection of products that you can only get there to the quality of service you can get nowhere else they’re always my first choice. Trader Joe’s products are the standard by which I measure other stores.”

Claim to fame: It’s one of America’s top employers, according to, ahem, us.

3. Aldi

Category: Supermarkets

ACSI Score: 85.0

ACSI commentary: “Like its subsidiary Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s no-frills approach seems to connect with consumers and has fueled rapid growth over the past decade.”

Customers say: “Aldi has everything I need at the lowest prices in a small area that feels like a Mom and Pop store. I love the personal feel of the store combined with the high quality and low prices every day.”

Claim to fame: ALDI is big here, but their customer service reputation is even bigger in the UK, where it nabbed the top spot in a recent survey.

4. Amazon

Category: Internet Retail

ACSI Score: 84.8

ACSI commentary: “The world’s largest internet retailer has mastered a combination of value, satisfaction, and delivery efficiency that consumers love.”

Customers say: “Infinite variety on one site without having to search multiple brands and companies online.”

Claim to fame: A few years ago, ForeSee ranked Amazon highest in overall customer satisfaction in its survey with a score of 90, the highest ever recorded by the firm.

5. Lexus

Category: Automobiles

ACSI Score: 84.6

ACSI commentary: “Toyota’s Lexus brand has been a perennial leader among not just automakers, but luxury brands around the world.”

Customers say: “It makes me feel pampered because it’s so comfortable and well designed and I love driving it.”

Claim to fame: J.D. Power has repeatedly recognized Lexus for its outstanding customer service.

Commit to Change

They go on to list an additional fifteen companies in the list, but you get the picture. The results are clear.

Success begins with a commitment to change, enabled by empowered people that are committed to change.

Is your organization ready to join this list?