One Thursday night in Philadelphia, a group of seven executives gathered for a Thought Leadership dinner hosted by myself and Professor Peter Fader. It wasn’t just any Thursday night. There were protests in the street for the second night after the election and traffic was snarled throughout downtown. And yet they came.
I’d like to think it was my sparkling personality, but more likely it was the concept of customer centricity that compelled them. If you think customer centricity is simply a replacement for customer-focused or customer experience, then you would be wrong. Dangerously wrong.
Customer centricity means knowing the value of each individual customer and integrating that knowledge into the DNA of the organization. It’s a big ask with an even bigger payoff. I believe that customer centricity will only create stronger company valuations and in a world of increasing consumer power, it is the only way forward.
Here are four simple takeaways from that customer centricity dinner:
1) IDENTIFY INDIVIDUALS. Your best and worst customer individually, not in aggregates. Most companies misidentify by using aggregates. Your customers have more power than ever before. Learning from past data, look to the future to anticipate when they are on track and when they need a boost.
2) DON’T ABANDON BAD CUSTOMERS. You still need a mix of customers to maintain the business. Just because you have identified the worst customers, and they aren’t likely to magically become your best, you can’t get rid of them unless you want to invoke the product death spiral. Minimize costs, learn and move on.
3) LISTEN MORE. Product pushing even in the name of “targeting” or acquisition is still product pushing. How much direct customer feedback do you get? Do you run surveys? Analyze the call center calls? Pin it together and hear your customers. Then separate them by value and listen again.
4) THINK LONG TERM. A revolution is not won in a day. Product-centric organizations maximize short term sales at the expense of long term customer relationships and understanding. Black Friday is a fantastic example of this. Are you really gaining high-value customers or just spiking product sales? Build relationships with the right customers and grow value instead.
If you follow these four simple rules, you’ll initiate an organizational kick-in-the-pants. It will be a huge step toward the creation of monumental value while also deepening the ties to your best customers.
Would you like to be invited to the next customer centricity dinner? Email me and let me know through Allison at ambitiondata.com.