Episode 5 - The New Normal - Customer-centricity, data and insights

The importance of customer-centric thinking


David Worby

7/9/20203 min read

A digitally-transformed business is philosophically, customer-centric. In the best examples, these two concepts go hand-in-hand. Of course, it is completely possible to transform a business into a digitally-oriented business without customer-centricity, but what for if not to be able to increase both its relevance to customers along with a responsive model that changes and adapts as demands fluctuate?

The alignment of business outcomes with customer outcomes.

To be successful in this transition keep in mind that if customers believe that what they want is what the business wants, then we are in this together and their advocacy of your business is magnified many times.

Having said that we believe there are 6 issues to consider:

A clear understanding of the role of customers

What role do you want them to play?… This can be anything from infrequent browsers to brand advocates; customer-centric organisations tend to put them closer to the center rather than on the periphery, and truly progressive businesses take many of their inputs directly from customers whose opinions they value. Start gathering feedback data from as many sources as you can find to develop a Voice of Customer (VOC) model.

A data suite that continually evolves

For too long we’ve been obsessed with ‘what technology brand do we need’ and ‘we need it all in one place’ ….its time to move beyond this into gathering, organising, testing, and developing insights, and it doesn’t all need to be in one place to make it work for you. To get started you’ll need curious analysts, later on, you’ll need smart algorithms and engineers.

Be on the constant lookout for new data sources, many of which will be from within your organisation eg reasons for return responses.

A decision tree that responds to insights from data

How many businesses still operate with Monday morning decisions guiding the working week? (be honest!) you need to move beyond this and into the world of thousands of micro-decisions made daily – many without human intervention. We’ve always believed that strategic direction is best set when it is informed from thousands of successful activities delivered by the organisation daily.

Marshaling these insights into a narrative that is easily communicated across the organisation requires specific skills; decisions based on these insights will be vital for success

Supportive digital technology intelligence

In the 1990’s we believed that technology leads the transformation debate (maybe many still do!) – but it’s important to keep reminding ourselves that technology supports business, rather than drives it. Today it is vital that team members all have a sense of technology intelligence, in that they can find solutions to business issues that rely on some form of technology/business process change. In legacy businesses this is still in the domain of IT – but in more progressive businesses this is in the skill set of the wider business – these skills will equip you for constant re-invention.

Serious quantities of curiosity at all levels

In our view a much underrated human instinct….after all it was Einstein who once said:

‘I have no special talent I am only passionately curious’.

Curiosity drives learning, innovation, and change. We believe that ’what would it be like…..’ is likely to be much more rewarding than an instruction to do something ……the receiver is given license to roam and experiment with the journey and ultimately arrive more rewarded. Teams are much more likely to be motivated with a passionate vision which allows their natural curiosity to develop on the journey.

The following link advises on enabling curiosity in your teams

Widespread employee empowerment

Broad and far-reaching changes are evident in all businesses today; to remain relevant it is vital to understand that technology will outperform the human – this leaves you to decide what roles humans play in the decision making you need. There are likely to be fewer of them, they’ll have all-round digital skills (including coding languages) and will be able to operate vertically rather than the more traditional horizontal roles.

Despite their numbers dwindling, their value to the organisation will be greater than before, retaining them will be more challenging, and giving them the freedom to think and act without guidance will be essential.

Whatever stage you are at, understanding the importance of customer-centricity, data and insights will help you navigate some of the essential changes ahead – for more detail on any of these subjects drop us a line

Talk to us at hello@prosperocommerce.com

Other Relevant links:

The importance of strong digital leadership - here

Doing the basics really well - here

Take a look at our Season 2 podcast series - here

Return to Blog home - here

Take a look at our Reports and Whitepapers - here

A digitally-transformed business is philosophically, customer-centric