Customer Centricity = Sustainability = Customer Centricity = Superior Business Performance

In a recently published article (MIT Sloan Management Review – How to Become a Sustainable Company)the authors point to a study that supports the view that ‘high sustainability’ companies significantly outperformed their counterparts over an 18 year period in terms of both stock market and accounting criteria, such as return on assets and return on equity. Also, stock market performance was higher and there was lower performance volatility. We can therefore conclude that sustainability makes good business sense.
The term ‘sustainable company’ is spoken about and referred to fairly frequently these days. At the core of this trend is the fact that consumers and the general public are not satisfied with businesses that focus solely on short-term profit maximisation. People want businesses to be far more considerate of broad based human needs.
In this context ‘sustainability’ refers to a business philosophy based on balancing financial, social and environmental considerations.
I am a firm believer and supporter of ‘sustainable enterprise’ – I also have this expectation that if a business can balance financial, social and environmental issues then surely they should add ‘customer experience’ to the list? After all, why waste the energy and effort to address social and environmental considerations (which ‘speak’ to us and can therefore be used to create greater levels of loyalty and advocacy) if they don’t design and deliver a differentiated customer experience.
Sadly, I’m a customer of a couple of ‘sustainable’ companies that deliver a customer experience that is mediocre at best and downright unacceptable at worst. This got me thinking from two perspectives – firstly, building organisational capability for sustainability is similar to building organisational capability to deliver differentiated experiences. Secondly, if an organisation is committed to ‘sustainability’ yet doesn’t focus on customer experience, should we be more accepting of mediocrity in delivery of those customer experiences? I say NO! NO! NO! In fact, Customer Experience and Sustainability should go hand in hand – one without the other is indicative of opposing forces.
Your thoughts?


Customer-Centric Transformation: What Good Looks Like – Data Management – Part 4 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 Data Management 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 – Data Management

“Customer-centricity requires that you provide your customer with a consistent and integrated experience. Without the right, quality customer data that is consolidated across multiple sources into a single view, this is not possible. In order to transform your customer data management and deliver the business case for it, you need to measure, manage and report on your customer data as a vital and valuable organisational asset, while holding the protection of the trust placed in you as sacred.”

What Good Looks Like – Data Management

  • The collection and quality management of customer information is driven by a documented strategy that recognises the financial and strategic value of customer information as well as its tactical value.
  • Structured and unstructured data that can be ‘owned’ by the organisation is built in a co-ordinated way from clearly understood internal and external sources.
  • Customer Information quality is managed / reported against clear definitions and its continual improvement is supported by systems, realistic budgets and informed staff who understand the importance of doing so.
  • The changing nature of data being generated in non-owned locations (Cloud data) is kept under active review and opportunities to use or even acquire it are investigated and implemented where appropriate.
  • Privacy and appropriate usage of customer data is as focused on delivering against customer requirements as it is on meeting regulatory conditions and is kept under constant review with the emergence of new media.

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’ –

The Government of the Future – What good looks like

It’s hard not to be impressed by the incredible development that has taken place in Dubai. Much of this is driven by a different way of thinking and acting.

I was particularly impressed by the definition of what the government of the future will look like in the book titled “Flashes of Thought” by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

  • The government of the future is open for service 24/7, all year round. The private sector remains open for business so why not the public sector? We want our government to be just like an airline – available around the clock.
  • The government of the future competes with and surpasses the private sector in service quality. We want our government to welcome customers more professionally than hotels; we want our government to manage processes better than banks.
  • The government of the future is connected. Citizens should be able to complete any government transaction at any government service centre. Integrated service centres will spare citizens long trips from one entity to another.
  • The government of the future is available everywhere. We want to shift government services onto smartphones so that customers can file and follow up on transactions using mobile devices, at their convenience.
  • The government of the future is innovative and constantly able to generate ideas. In 2012 the UAE government was able to generate over 20000 fresh ideas to simplify and improve its services. Our goal is to create an environment that encourages people to generate innovative ideas, implement them and constantly measure their effectiveness. Innovation is the capital of the future.
  • The government of the future is a smart government with integrated and efficient technical systems. A smart government is so much faster in completing various kinds of transactions.

Imagine! A customer/citizen centric government to rival the best private sector enterprises. Now that’s talking.