Processes should be designed with the customer in mind. Business Analysts involved in process improvement projects usually have to focus on the “moments of truth” by analyzing all the points in the process where there’s interaction with the customer. Designing processes with the customer in mind means focusing on the touch points with the customer. This can translate to an increase in market share and revenue for the business.
While every business leader can claim to be customer-focused, the real test of leadership in teams is implanting this attitude into the company culture and translating that mindset into day-to-day decision-making. Customer-centric business processes are able to grow revenue by putting the customer first, which in turn fosters loyalty.
A common misunderstanding is that customer-centricity means ignoring revenue growth. However, the companies that succeed are those that have adopted customer-centricity and found that revenue growth is more sustainable because of it. This is why 63% of CEOs see rallying their organizations around the customer as one of the top three investment priorities this year (source: CIO.com). The goal of these companies is to solve problems as opposed to simply selling products and services.
It is commendable to implement new technology for enhancing customer experience but if the company culture only emphasizes revenue growth, technology ultimately becomes just a coat of paint.
So, here are some ways to reorganize the business and guarantee change through the implementation of consumer-centric processes.
Customer Data-Driven Decisions
Today’s business environment is big and complex with decisions made more quickly than ever before. Businesses and their customer-facing workforces must be eager to examine what will drive value for the customer. Most companies will not do this because they think they already know what the customer wants and they don't have the innate curiosity to ask.
The best way to leverage insight to achieve a customer-centric focus is by developing a customer journey model. A customer journey model provides a framework that describes the various stages a customer encounters when interacting with your company’s products and services. This is a powerful tool for understanding how your business processes fit within the customer’s journey. By knowing the customer intimately, business leaders can make better decisions regarding advertising, branding and focused business developments.
The main reason customer-centricity fails is the continued view of how the customer can bring benefits to the business and not how the business can improve the customer's experience. Adopting a customer-centric business approach requires shifting not only technological or structural frameworks but also the entire mindset of the workforce.
The company’s culture should revolve around how the customer relationship is perceived. It is important that everyone from executives to frontline staff get on board. If you are modifying the organizational design of your business, restructuring across departments will most likely need to take place, which requires effective leadership throughout the transition.
Some companies employ specific sales targets and goals to drive sales. Removing revenue-focused business objectives and replacing them with customer-centric key performance indicators (KPIs) can help foster a better customer experience. The number of customers retained per month, the average problem resolution time and the average rating on customer experience are all good metrics for developing customer-driven focus as opposed to one focused on business transactions.
In a fast-paced business market, the best way to please your customers is to give them great customer service as well as quick responses to their problems. Therefore, it is important that your staff have quick access to customer data for customer service purposes. This includes data on everything from customer attributes to customer interactions and the results.
If your business currently handles different software applications for different business functions, you may want to consider an integrated business management solution. This will ensure that you are not wasting time scanning through different files or opening different programs for shipping details, customer information, orders or inventory data. An efficient business management solution puts all the data in one software platform, which speeds up customer interactions and boosts productivity.
However, even the best software can fail if the implementation isn’t executed properly. With so many options available, a consultant specializing in business management solutions may be in your best interest to ensure you select the right system and manage the change effectively.
Successful businesses build trust and nurture long-term customer relationships by showing customers that they are the highest priority. A customer driven company culture can drive sales and revenue growth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daphne Lefran has been writing about business-related topics for many years and currently writes on behalf of the business solutions specialists at TGO Consulting. In her spare time, she enjoys capturing moments through a camera lens; traveling to new and far away places and cheering on the Florida State Seminoles. Follow her on Twitter @daphnelefran.
Picture Attribution: “Customer Service Woman” by Ambro/Freedigitalphotos.net