There are those who don’t completely buy into the idea that the customer is king. At least a segment of them argue that the customer being only human, could very well make demands of a service-provider that are not quite acceptable in a civil society. In such circumstances, they say, it’s not necessary to bend to the customer’s will under the assumption that s/he is the king or the queen.
Such an argument- made from a very literal reading of the sentence “customer is king” may still have some merits. After all, if you work long enough in any industry, you are bound to come across a few customers who are best described using unprintable words.
But that doesn’t mean that in the modern world, for a business to succeed a strong customer-centric work culture isn’t necessary. Competition is the bedrock on which the present world is built, and if you slack on customer-centricity, you can be sure your competition would one-up you and claim your customers.
So, how to foster a customer-centric culture in your organization? Here we find answers.
The customer is part of the community you are building, not external to it
Accountability through shared vision
Accountability is the key that opens the door to a customer-centric culture. If each member in the team takes up the responsibility for producing the desired result, the team is then naturally customer-centric: For they themselves want to succeed, perhaps even more than the management.
And in their pursuit of success, they establish and maintain good relations with the customer.
For accountability to be a part of the organization’s culture, it’s extremely important for the team to have a compelling shared vision. It’s the vision the team move towards as a single unit, and it’s realized from among themselves. This vision is the inspiring end-point of the current business journey and instigates a sense of accountability in the team members to achieve the vision.
Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a unique session developed by Temenos+Agility, based on 2 years of business consultancy experience, helps teams realize their compelling shared vision.
Learnability through Clean Slate
A huge part of customer centricity is the ability to address customer queries effectively. This requires that the change agent stays on a learning trajectory so they would stay updated enough to address any customer query. This is particularly relevant for those directly involved in sales activities.
One crucial problem change agents face in this respect is the mental negativities which block them from evolving as change agents by learning new things. These negativities are often apprehensions they may have developed based on poor past experiences. These apprehensions which may be about people or processes make them wary of changes, of entering a new knowledge arena.
A change agent stuck in this rut would fall short in interacting fruitfully with customers.
The Clean Slate session included in TVL helps change agents identify these negativities and weed them out. As a result, they proceed as more confident individuals with less mental baggage.
Decision-making through influence mapping
A business exists to provide solutions to problems the customers have. The nature and gravity of these problems would be known best by those who have them.
Which is why it’s important for change agents to develop the ability to co-create solutions with the customers. More often than not, these solutions are the best of the lot.
But this process comes with a couple of pre-requirements.
For one thing, you need to be careful not to mix ego-based judgements with potential solutions from someone else. Then, there is the aspect of decision-making. Any decision you take has multiple influences behind it- both external and internal. This is true with the decision for whether to greenlight a solution or not as well.
The important thing is to ensure that no unwanted influences affect your decision-making process. Otherwise, you may end up adopting a solution that’s independently created and which is secondary to one co-created with customers.
Influence Maps is a proprietary tool used in TVL which helps you map all the influences which shaped your behavior and decision-making style. Getting a better view of your influences helps you guide your decision making better, so that when it’s important to have customer involvement for creating solutions, you would make the right decision.
Temenos Effect Gathering 2018- Bengaluru, India(Dec 29, 2018)
An event dedicated to the idea of personal mastery, for nurturing your beautiful self, for change agents and leaders to become their true selves.
For more details, visit our website: https://www.visiontemenos.com/events