Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Customer-centricity covers all your activities

Yesterday I did watch a program about the banking industry and how they are ‘behaving’ after the crisis (which they largely caused themselves). It was very clearly explained that the managers and the sales people were driven to sell as much products (especially mortgages etc.) as possible. Their bonuses were put in place to stimulate that behavior. So, we all know what the result was and still is.

If you manage your sales force by means of aggressive bonus schemes, you are not putting the needs of your customers at the heart of your operation. Then you are far away from being customer-centric.

Actually years ago when I did start to work for DEC, it was one of their principles NOT to pay bonuses to the sales force. The reason was that they wanted the sales force to focus on delivering quality to meet the customer’s needs. This policy worked very well, and the company grew at a very fast rate. When the market slowed down, they decided to introduce variable compensation to the sales force. This actually made things worse and now DEC does no longer exist.

Many companies are making the switch from being product-centric to becoming customer-centric. To be successful in being customer-centric you need to embed this in all your activities. This means that ….

-       Bonuses for product sales should be abolished
-       Customer Service should be at the heart of your operation
-       Partners and customers should be involved in your marketing and innovation
-       Internal systems should be customer driven rather than product line driven
-       Senior leaders should regularly meet customers
-       All activities should support a great customer experience

Customer-centricity requires a new mindset and alignment of activities.

Are you taking all the necessary steps to become customer-centric?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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