What does Customer Centricity Mean to You?

To us, customer centricity means putting your customers and their needs at the center of your organization, and consistently supporting that perspective through your people, culture and how you do business. Do this well, and the only gaps you’ll be charting are the ones between you and your competition.

But how does one do it well? This month’s newsletter provides clear direction around a few goals: Transparency, simplicity, customer appreciation, and innovation. These are no surprise if you follow our point of view, and/or if you’re doing the work of learning what customer centricity means to your customers.

The hardest part, of course, is actually following through on delivery. So read on for examples of doing them well, and start thinking about how to get even closer to your customers in 2015!

1.) How Starbucks Creates a Seamless Customer Experience - from Cafe to the Car http://bit.ly/1xPZiqj
Some nice CX nuggets in this piece about keeping loyalty top of mind, expanding ideation beyond the obvious, and using data to inform a process, instead of viewing it as an end in and of itself. (Tweet Score: 152)

2.) Simple is smart. http://cmo.cm/1yqhMvE
People will pay more to get less…complexity that is. Wouldn’t you? Siegel+Gale’s fifth annual “Global Brand Simplicity Index” survey is out, and if you’re a consumer who hates a hassle, you won’t be surprised. When we’re in the bowels of our companies though, it’s harder to see clearly. (Tweet Score: 131)

3.) The Customer Experience Gap - Are You Clueless, or Clued In? http://bit.ly/1y5rXWr
In the context of your business model and the expectations your brand sets, understand what your customers want and need from you, and focus on giving it to them. Then identify any gaps, and find ways to improve your performance in these areas. (Tweet Score: 115)

4.) How the Internet of Things Changes Business Models http://bit.ly/1rBMdMc
The emergence of the Internet of Things “forces a new mindset around value capture (and) the monetization of customer value.” Plus a thought-proving mini movie on our current 2.0 maker movement: What do you think is meaningful to our culture, and do you have an honest way to tap into or serve it? (Tweet Score: 113)

5.) "There was a point in time when the customer journey was predictable." http://cmo.cm/1yqhAfN
Like many others before them, Cisco has shifted from being a provider of gear to a solutions company. Of particular interest to us, is the corresponding focus shift from marketing products to delivering specific customer outcomes. Isn’t that what we should all be doing, whether we’re selling networking gear or “internet of everything” consulting? An interesting synopsis of their presentation at the recent ANA’s Masters Of Marketing conference. (Tweet Score: 104)

6.) Does the mere sight of a customer motivate you to do your job better? http://bit.ly/1xrDVeS
Connection, transparency, gratitude: three positive attributes that shot up when chefs and diners could see one another. In turn, that led to an objective improvement in food quality and service speed. True in the kitchen, true in other business environments. Appreciation…give it a shot…it will repay you. (Tweet Score: 101)

7.) Reading: "Digital Ubiquity: How Connections, Sensors, and Data Are Revolutionizing Business" http://bit.ly/1yCJq8J
“A business model is defined by two things: how the organization creates value for its customers (the customer value proposition) and how it captures that value (how it makes money). Digital transformation changes both.” Too long and detailed to recap, just read it. (Tweet Score: 96)

8.) What Would Jeff Goodby Do If He Were a CMO? http://bit.ly/11zgowY
Jeff Goodby of iconic agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, mouths off about CMOs. For entertainment value, our favorite is, "Laborious crowdsourcing is undertaken in a never-ending evasion of all responsibility for the final product. A world emerges in which no one recognizably makes a decision anymore, ever…” But professionally, we have to love "Do not fear research. Although many think that research is the last thing they’d want lying around and exposing their lameness, big data is in fact your best friend.” (Tweet Score: 98)

9.) Innovation is real work, but that doesn't mean it's the same as other business activities. http://bit.ly/1yCJMwa
Peter Drucker on innovation opportunities. No one can foretell whether a given innovation will end up a big business or a modest achievement, but they all stem from these seven sources: Unexpected Occurrences, Incongruities, Process Needs, Industry and Market Changes, Demographic Changes, Changes in Perception, New Knowledge. (Tweet Score: 96)

10.) The Future of Customer Experience is Now http://bit.ly/1zvky3l
The near future promises conversational, virtual employees that can deliver a great customer experience while helping customers quickly and accurately handle complicated requests through natural language interactions and speech-enabled consumer devices. If your company could talk, what could it do faster, better or more efficiently? (Tweet Score: 96)

In customer behavior as in life, the only constant is change.

As many of you know, MCorp has been mapping customer journeys and transforming experiences since 2002. And while these trends have been clear to us for some time (see our 2012 book), the shift to digital continues to shift the power in the customer-company relationship ever more in favor of the customer.

Illustrating this shift are these stats courtesy of Cisco’s CMO, which may surprise even the most forward-thinking among you:

Today, 67 percent of the customer journey is done digitally; 57 percent of the purchase decision is made before customers even reach out to the company; 90 percent of customers initiate the first steps in the buying cycle; and 85 percent of B2B users are using social media during the purchase process.

And this is just the beginning of what’s to come. Combine this with the radically expanding Internet of Things (IoT), and organizations will be automatically forced to serve their customers more intelligently.

What this means is that as touchpoints become nearly infinite – and digital drives nearly every phase of journey – every CMO should be talking to their CIOs on a regular basis.

If you want a translator for these conversations? Give us a shout. After all, we’ve been speaking the language of digital disruption for more than a decade.