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The New Language of Customer Centricity

In a customer facing world today where businesses scream and proclaim about their customer centricity, it is ironic that the number of customer satisfaction surveys that portray a negative result is on the rise. We have seen organization models, interviews with senior management members, strategy consulting firms all concentrating on building an image of customer centricity. With so much focus and efforts on this arena, why is it that the consumer feels neglected many a time?

Whether it is Banking, Retailing, Health Care or Transportation, the scope to amass wholesome customer loyalty is always enormous. We have heard people complaining about how long they had to wait in queues to be served, how they were made to run around from one counter to another, how a call centre kept transferring them from one agent to another without giving a resolution, how they had to shell out a huge amount of money and felt cheated at the service dished out. This does sound paradoxical considering the number of management schools on the rise offering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as their flagship course and the number of students enrolling and highlighting this on their resumes.

With the number of product and service lines increasing with the mindset of being ‘proactive’ to the needs of the consumers, organizations need to invest in “time” to assess the satisfaction quotient of their customers. Glossy surveys by leading agencies may tend to obscure the micro details if all the factors to be considered are not debated over and agreed upon. This brings us down to two basic questions.

  • Who knows their customers well -the organization or the agencies?
    2. Aren’t people in the organizations themselves customers of the products or services being offered by the concern?

The organizational environment plays a vital role in bringing out the factor of customer centricity in each employee. The teams that get into designing the product or service are the ones that need maximum exposure to ‘what works and what does not’. But in the real world, there are Business Analysts, Marketing

Managers and Product Managers who are the ones that get into the ‘outside’ world and communicate their perceptions to the design teams. Hence the actual needs are filtered through the perceptions of these people and what trickles down to the design teams are again coloured by their own understanding and perceptions. This may translate into delivering something different from what the consumer had asked for! And when consumers express their dissatisfaction, companies end up replacing the respective team member instead of eyeing the process of communication that has been inherent.
The cycle of acquiring a customer, gathering requirements, designing the product or service, delivering to the customer needs participation from various levels in the organization. No longer can teams be bounded by lines of ‘technical and functional’ roles. They need to understand that what they do results in creating a satisfaction quotient from the consumer. The greater the passion and involvement, the higher is the enthusiasm to explore and understand. This would translate into a widening customer base and being a top brand to recall in the minds of the customer thereby also retaining the present customers. This is where the culture of the company plays a key role to inculcate this mindset.

Right from the time the Recruitment team decides to hire a competent person, the Human Resources team inducts the new employee to the time when the respective managers give an orientation, each function in the organization moulds the mindset and leaves an imprint. Hence when the message communicated is uniform, the impression formed in the mind is stronger.

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The New Language of Customer Centricity

In a customer facing world today where businesses scream and proclaim about their customer centricity, it is ironic that the number of customer satisfaction surveys that portray a negative result is on the rise. We have seen organization models, interviews with senior management members, strategy consulting firms all concentrating on building an image of customer centricity. With so much focus and efforts on this arena, why is it that the consumer feels neglected many a time?

Whether it is Banking, Retailing, Health Care or Transportation, the scope to amass wholesome customer loyalty is always enormous. We have heard people complaining about how long they had to wait in queues to be served, how they were made to run around from one counter to another, how a call centre kept transferring them from one agent to another without giving a resolution, how they had to shell out a huge amount of money and felt cheated at the service dished out. This does sound paradoxical considering the number of management schools on the rise offering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as their flagship course and the number of students enrolling and highlighting this on their resumes.

With the number of product and service lines increasing with the mindset of being ‘proactive’ to the needs of the consumers, organizations need to invest in “time” to assess the satisfaction quotient of their customers. Glossy surveys by leading agencies may tend to obscure the micro details if all the factors to be considered are not debated over and agreed upon. This brings us down to two basic questions.

  • Who knows their customers well -the organization or the agencies? 2. Aren’t people in the organizations themselves customers of the products or services being offered by the concern?

The organizational environment plays a vital role in bringing out the factor of customer centricity in each employee. The teams that get into designing the product or service are the ones that need maximum exposure to ‘what works and what does not’. But in the real world, there are Business Analysts, Marketing

Managers and Product Managers who are the ones that get into the ‘outside’ world and communicate their perceptions to the design teams. Hence the actual needs are filtered through the perceptions of these people and what trickles down to the design teams are again coloured by their own understanding and perceptions. This may translate into delivering something different from what the consumer had asked for! And when consumers express their dissatisfaction, companies end up replacing the respective team member instead of eyeing the process of communication that has been inherent. The cycle of acquiring a customer, gathering requirements, designing the product or service, delivering to the customer needs participation from various levels in the organization. No longer can teams be bounded by lines of ‘technical and functional’ roles. They need to understand that what they do results in creating a satisfaction quotient from the consumer. The greater the passion and involvement, the higher is the enthusiasm to explore and understand. This would translate into a widening customer base and being a top brand to recall in the minds of the customer thereby also retaining the present customers. This is where the culture of the company plays a key role to inculcate this mindset.

Right from the time the Recruitment team decides to hire a competent person, the Human Resources team inducts the new employee to the time when the respective managers give an orientation, each function in the organization moulds the mindset and leaves an imprint. Hence when the message communicated is uniform, the impression formed in the mind is stronger.