Customer-Centric Transformation a no-brainer: Check out why!


I’m guilty! I admit that I’m a customer-centric evangelist because quite frankly, how else can you build meaningful competitive advantage? Customer-centricity is all about differentiation and it’s almost impossible to sustain differentiation around product, price and distribution footprint. But you can sustain differentiation around your customer knowledge, insights and understanding.

Here are 3 questions designed to get you thinking a little differently about the criticality of developing customer-centric capability within your organisation. These ideas are attributed to Don Peppers & Martha Rogers of Peppers & Rogers Group, whom I worked with very briefly around 11 years ago.

1)      Who is the one stakeholder, whom if you maximised the return thereof, would benefit ALL stakeholders?  So think about this – there are generally 5 major stakeholders in businesses today – society, partners, investors, customers and employees. Maximising the return for the investor is not necessarily good for the customer! Maximising the return for the employees doesn’t mean ALL other stakeholders will benefit. Maximising the return for the Customer, on the other hand, certainly does benefit all other stakeholders. This is why the principles of customer-centricity are so important. If an organisation is unable to propagate a supply-demand chain then they are unable to supports investors and all other stakeholders.

2)      Would you agree that customers create 100% of business value in almost all cases? Customers create value for businesses every quarter by purchasing products and services. They also create value in another way which is referred to as lifetime value (LTV). LTV is based upon their intention to continue doing business with, and paying money to the organisation. That LTV goes up and down in value, as does a stock/share portfolio. Any reduction, or potential reduction, in that value (brought about possibly through a poor engagement or experience) is bad news for the organisation. This level of understanding and insight of that value change is generally not available within organisations so this reduction in value is not reported to shareholders , albeit that it is akin to the company reporting lower earnings which in almost all cases results in company stock/shares losing value. My friends at Peppers & Rogers have a metric for this which they refer to as ‘Return on Customer’ and this metric is designed to capture both types of value created (actual and LTV) to balance the short term/long term impact of customer value. ROC = (Profit made on customer today + change in LTV)/Initial/beginning LTV.

3)      What do shareholders & investors really want? Most shareholders and investors want confidence that leadership is able to grow a company organically. That means that the organisation will have developed capabilities to Acquire customers, to Retain them and keep them buying from the business, to grow them and to get them to buy more from the business. They’d also want confidence that leadership is able to guide investment and understand the cost-to-serve different customer cohorts/segments to best manage financial return. If the business can demonstrate these capabilities then they are providing REAL value to customers which means they’re providing real value to shareholders/investors at the same time

Customers are a scarce asset. They are valuable and unique. They are measurable. They are the biggest limitation to growth and to understand this will impact the decisions we make.

So…………within your organisations, if customers are the most important asset in your business, who is managing them as such. What operational framework/ architecture/ business model are you using to optimise that asset? Who is tracking the value of the customer today and the value of the customer tomorrow? What does your customer dashboard look like?

Comments?

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Customer-Centric Transformation: What Good Looks Like – Efficiency – Controlling Costs – Part 12b of 14


Designing and executing a customer-centric business model requires end to end organisational alignment. Customer-centric capability development cannot take place in isolation to the rest of the business. The customer-centric journey requires a clear quantified understanding of current organisational capability across all 14 capability areas of the SCHEMA® Customer Management framework in the centre of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint below. As important as an understanding of current customer management capability is, so too is an understanding of the capability to which the organisation aspires.

Each week I’ll address another single capability area, sharing with you the Transformation Intent to which your organisation should commit to, as well as ‘What Good Looks Like’ for those organisations that have achieved a fairly high level of maturity in the respective capability area.

The REAP Customer-Centric Organisation Blueprint®

REAP CCOB for Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week we are dealing with Efficiency which is one of the four Execution capability areas represented. The Execution layer relates to the capabilities and control levers needed to optimise customer value and include Retention, Efficiency (understanding cost to serve), Acquisition and Penetration (customer development, cross-sell and up-sell) – collectively referred to as REAP. These are capabilities and initiatives that can be optimised in the short term.

These capabilities support your ability to implement your chosen customer strategies and rely on the fundamental building blocks (Foundations) as well as the Enabling capabilities already discussed in Part 1 to 10 of this series of blog posts.

Each of the four Execution capability areas is made up of sub-components. The Efficiency dimension seeks to manage costs from a customer profitability perspective and evaluates costs in reference to the value of the customer for whom those costs are incurred. The 2 sub-components of the Efficiency dimension are ‘Calculating & Allocating Costs’ and ‘Controlling Costs.’ Each of these areas is addressed in separate, individual blog posts.

Transformation Intent – Efficiency

“In treating different customers differently, your organisation needs to develop the capability to optimise customer profitability through the efficient calculation, allocation and control of customer costs in retaining, acquiring and developing your customers across all segments and channels. This enables you to perform value analysis in a way that supports your customer engagement within the defined profit bands per customer and per segment, and if need be, influencing their behaviour to reduce the cost-to-serve or even terminating them as customers if necessary.”

What Good Looks Like – Controlling Costs

  • The relative costs of acquiring, retaining and developing customers by each channel are understood and have an influence on customers’ allocation / entitlement to each channel. Maximum acceptable acquisition costs are calculated for each customer type and mechanisms in place to stop acquisition activity or hold back sales costs (commissions) if necessary.
  • Marketing costs are controlled by formal optimization, moving towards inbound targeting and by reducing or stopping marketing to some customers where the cost cannot be justified.
  • The drivers of cost-to-serve variations are understood and the overall cost-to-serve level is being reduced by changing buying behaviours and maximizing the use of self-service wherever possible.
  • The various costs of failure and wastage are understood and fully considered in work to improve customer processes.
  • The organisation has an ethos, relevant definition and sensitive processes that allow high cost (compared to revenue) customers to be stimulated to leave.

 

For more insight into customer-centric business model innovation as well as more insight into this particular area of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint, please see my book “The Customer-Centric Blueprint’ – http://amzn.to/ZILg4y

Customer-Centric Transformation: What Good Looks Like – Retention – Managing Dissatisfaction – Part 11d of 14


Designing and executing a customer-centric business model requires end to end organisational alignment. Customer-centric capability development cannot take place in isolation to the rest of the business. The customer-centric journey requires a clear quantified understanding of current organisational capability across all 14 capability areas of the SCHEMA® Customer Management framework in the centre of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint below. As important as an understanding of current customer management capability is, so too is an understanding of the capability to which the organisation aspires.

Each week I’ll address another single capability area, sharing with you the Transformation Intent to which your organisation should commit to, as well as ‘What Good Looks Like’ for those organisations that have achieved a fairly high level of maturity in the respective capability area.

The REAP Customer-Centric Organisation Blueprint®

REAP CCOB for Blog

This week we are dealing with Retention which is one of the four Execution capability areas represented. The Execution layer relates to the capabilities and control levers needed to optimise customer value and include Retention, Efficiency (understanding cost to serve), Acquisition and Penetration (customer development, cross-sell and up-sell) – collectively referred to as REAP. These are capabilities and initiatives that can be optimised in the short term.

These capabilities support your ability to implement your chosen customer strategies and rely on the fundamental building blocks (Foundations) as well as the Enabling capabilities already discussed in Part 1 to 10 of this series of blog posts.

Each of the four Execution capability areas is made up of sub-components. In developing Retention capabilities it is important to understand the drivers that create and maintain loyalty as well as the factors that destroy it, important to consider how to retain through business as usual, important to consider pro-active retention activity and how to best manage dissatisfaction. Each of these areas is addressed in separate, individual blog posts.

Transformation Intent – Retention

“Retention is all about understanding your customer base and the drivers that create and maintain loyalty as well as the factors that destroy it. Coupled with this is the need to consistently deliver on your promise while ensuring that over-delivery is balanced against the overriding goal of doing just enough to ensure repurchase. A retention strategy also demands that you are pro-active with your customers, monitoring them for signs of defection and implementing constructive plans to generate customer commitment to repurchase. Should customers become dissatisfied, the right flows of communication alert you so that the issues can be addressed promptly and consistently, whilst solving the problem at a root cause level.”

What Good Looks Like – Managing Dissatisfaction

  • Communication of dissatisfaction is encouraged from customers both directly and via staff. It is pro-actively drawn out by internal processes, even if there is no formal complaint.
  • Complaints via regulatory bodies are dealt with enthusiastically and in a way that ensures their response standards are always met. Formal complaints received directly from customers are dealt with consistently across the organisation, to clearly defined standards which are themselves transparent to customers.
  • Analysis of complaints extends to deep ‘root-cause’ levels and reporting is reviewed by very senior managers who are told the whole story.
  • Issues likely to cause widespread dissatisfaction are dealt with quickly and incisively, using social and traditional media, making use of advocates and fans wherever possible.
  • Relationship recovery is seen as an integral part of the dissatisfaction management process and is applied re-actively and/or pro-actively against a clear set of criteria of where it should be applied.

 

For more insight into customer-centric business model innovation as well as more insight into this particular area of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint, please see my book “The Customer-Centric Blueprint’ – http://amzn.to/ZILg4y

Customer-Centric Transformation: What Good Looks Like – Agility and Workflow – Part 9 of 14


Designing and executing a customer-centric business model requires end to end organisational alignment. Customer-centric capability development cannot take place in isolation to the rest of the business. The customer-centric journey requires a clear quantified understanding of current organisational capability across all 14 capability areas of the SCHEMA® Customer Management framework in the centre of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint below. As important as an understanding of current customer management capability is, so too is an understanding of the capability to which the organisation aspires.
Each week I’ll address another single capability area, sharing with you the Transformation Intent to which your organisation should commit to, as well as ‘What Good Looks Like’ for those organisations that have achieved a fairly high level of maturity in the respective capability area.
The REAP Customer-Centric Organisation Blueprint®
REAP CCOB for Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week we are dealing with Agility & Workflow which is one of the six Enabling capability areas represented. The Enablers explore the components needed to energise your transformation and will invariably involve changes that can be planned for within the current business cycle, for implementation in the next budgetary or operating period. These components support your capability to implement your chosen customer strategies and rely on the fundamental building blocks (Foundations) already discussed in Part 1 to 4 of this series of blog posts.
Transformation Intent – Agility and Workflow
“The ability to deliver a customer-centric experience is dependent on the speed at which your organisation can mobilise itself so that you can meet the changing needs of your customers and act on new opportunities as soon as they arise. In order to do this you need an agile decision-making infrastructure that is supported by efficient and technology-enabled processes that integrate teams and deliver on the opportunities for real-time responses.”

What Good Looks Like – Agility and Workflow
• The organisation is set up to take customer insight and feedback through to new or amended processes / propositions quickly and is checking that customers perceive this agility.

• Processes are actively managed to ensure the right people receive the right prompts and information at the right time and are able to action it within defined timelines.

• The opportunities and customer need for real-time working are understood and the relevant data is available to enable clear movement towards this in the most important areas.

• Collaboration between customer-impacting colleagues is encouraged and enabled by relevant technology on an overall basis as well as being targeted at specific areas of need.

• Centres of Excellence are used to formerly incubate and develop good practices in one part of the organisation in a way that is specifically designed to support ‘packaged’ transfer of learning across the enterprise.

For more insight into customer-centric business model innovation as well as more insight into this particular area of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint, please see my book “The Customer-Centric Blueprint’ – http://amzn.to/ZILg4y

Customer-Centric Transformation: What Good Looks Like – Experience Management – Part 8 of 14


Designing and executing a customer-centric business model requires end to end organisational alignment. Customer-centric capability development cannot take place in isolation to the rest of the business. The customer-centric journey requires a clear quantified understanding of current organisational capability across all 14 capability areas of the SCHEMA® Customer Management framework in the centre of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint below. As important as an understanding of current customer management capability is, so too is an understanding of the capability to which the organisation aspires.
Each week I’ll address another single capability area, sharing with you the Transformation Intent to which your organisation should commit to, as well as ‘What Good Looks Like’ for those organisations that have achieved a fairly high level of maturity in the respective capability area.
The REAP Customer-Centric Organisation Blueprint®
REAP CCOB for Blog

This week we are dealing with Experience Management which is one of the six Enabling capability areas represented. The Enablers explore the components needed to energise your transformation and will invariably involve changes that can be planned for within the current business cycle, for implementation in the next budgetary or operating period. These components support your capability to implement your chosen customer strategies and rely on the fundamental building blocks (Foundations) already discussed in Part 1 to 4 of this series of blog posts.

Transformation Intent – Experience Management

“Achieving excellence in customer experience is about finding ways to create products, services and experiences that positively and profitably influence what people think, feel and do. This calls for the ability to design and deliver innovative, differentiated, economic and relevant customer experiences across every channel and touch point ensuring that both physical and emotional elements are addressed. ”

What Good Looks Like – Experience Management

• Appropriate (i.e. not too much) quantitative and qualitative research is carried out into customer satisfaction in a format that aims to be predictive of future loyalty and to take customer expectation levels into account.

• On-line and off-line mechanisms are in place to ensure that a wide range of staff (junior to senior) listen to customers as well as those whose job it is to do so. Processes ensure that the organisation reacts to what is being said without over-reacting to potential ‘noise’.

• Based on these insights the customer experience is designed, engineered, documented and adjusted by expert resources with a focus on the customers’ emotional needs as well as functional requirements.

• Clearly different experiences can be delivered to different values of customer without causing undue dissatisfaction of lower value customers.

For more insight into customer-centric business model innovation as well as more insight into this particular area of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint, please see my book “The Customer-Centric Blueprint’ – http://amzn.to/ZILg4y

Customer-Centric Transformation: What Good Looks Like – Insight and Planning – Part 5 of 14


Designing and executing a customer-centric business model requires end to end organisational alignment. Customer-centric capability development cannot take place in isolation to the rest of the business. The customer-centric journey requires a clear quantified understanding of current organisational capability across all 14 capability areas of the SCHEMA® Customer Management framework in the centre of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint below. As important as an understanding of current customer management capability is, so too is an understanding of the capability to which the organisation aspires.

Each week I’ll address another single capability area, sharing with you the Transformation Intent to which your organisation should commit to, as well as ‘What Good Looks Like’ for those organisations that have achieved a fairly high level of maturity in the respective capability area.

The REAP Customer-Centric Organisation Blueprint®

 

REAP CCOB for Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week we are dealing with Insight & Planning which is one of the six Enabling capability areas represented. The Enablers explore the components needed to energise your transformation and will invariably involve changes that can be planned for within the current business cycle, for implementation in the next budgetary or operating period. These components support your capability to implement your chosen customer strategies and rely on the fundamental building blocks (Foundations) already discussed in Part 1 to 4 of this series of blog posts.

Transformation Intent – Insight and Planning

“Whereas data management ensures that the quality and priority of critical customer information enables a customer-centric approach, insight and planning translates that data into meaningful patterns of customer drivers and behaviour. With this understanding you can transform your approach to defining your customers’ needs from an outside-in perspective, thereby segmenting them correctly and, thus becoming capable of delivering a relevant and superior customer experience, while being mindful of your competitors’ manoeuvres.”

What Good Looks Like – Data Management

  • The current and changing nature of customer transactional behaviour is understood in its own right and in terms of how it relates to other behaviours. Non-transactional behaviours (both on-line and off-line) are captured and analysed as well as being researched at the market level.
  • The nature and relative importance of own-customer and overall market needs (as opposed to satisfaction) are understood.
  • A clear and consistently applied segmentation framework is in place at the detailed analytical level and at an operational level that drives differences in the ways that customers are actually managed. The segmentation extends beyond financial value into dimensions such as needs, attitudes etc.
  • There is an explicit customer dimension to business planning activity that considers planned revenue / margin improvements, by customer segment, by the value drivers that will deliver them. The range of competitors likely to impact the organisation’s ability to achieve these plans have been identified and their action / reaction is both predicted and monitored.

 

For more insight into customer-centric business model innovation as well as more insight into this particular area of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint, please see my book “The Customer-Centric Blueprint’ – http://amzn.to/ZILg4y

 

Customer-Centric Transformation: What Good Looks Like – Technology & Systems – Part 3 of 14


Designing and executing a customer-centric business model requires end to end organisational alignment. Customer-centric capability development cannot take place in isolation to the rest of the business. The customer-centric journey requires a clear quantified understanding of current organisational capability across all 14 capability areas of the SCHEMA® Customer Management framework in the centre of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint below. As important as an understanding of current customer management capability is, so too is an understanding of the capability to which the organisation aspires.

Each week I’ll address another single capability area, sharing with you the Transformation Intent to which your organisation should commit to, as well as ‘What Good Looks Like’ for those organisations that have achieved a fairly high level of maturity in the respective capability area.

The REAP Customer-Centric Organisation Blueprint®

REAP CCOB for Blog

This week we are dealing with Technology & Systems which is one of the four Foundational capability areas represented. The Foundations layer includes the fundamental building blocks that support or limit your transformation ability. These capability areas require broad-based input and alignment, without which the operationalization of a customer-centric business model is almost impossible.

Transformation Intent – Technology & Systems

“While customer-impacting technology is a powerful tool to engage your customers in their experience and to efficiently manage their data, its role is to enable the activation and delivery of your customer strategy and not to drive the design and implementation of your business. Transform instead your use of technology and systems so that they support you to innovate the customer experience, take advantage of latest trends and develop both a single and an in-depth view of your customer.”

What Good Looks Like – Technology & Systems

  • The development of customer-impacting technology is driven by a specific strategy and has a widely understood architecture that supports major customer trends such as the move towards self-service.
  • Systems that are accessible to customers / prospects are monitored and managed with a clear customer experience focus and are evolving in a way that delivers against the principles of Web 2.0.
  • Systems used at all customer interfaces provide broad Customer Management functionality accessing a common view of each customer and can be upgraded / changed fast enough to support the Customer Management Strategy.
  • The organisation’s customer analysis capability covers all customers at a behavioural and attitudinal level with sufficient history, accessibility and integration to support analysts and operational system users.

For more insight into customer-centric business model innovation as well as more insight into this particular area of the REAP Customer-Centric Blueprint, please see my book “The Customer-Centric Blueprint’ – http://amzn.to/ZILg4y