If you take the time to survey your customers how they feel about your product/service/business, you might think you’re being “customer-centric.”
But Ranjay Gulati argues that this isn’t going nearly far enough, in a recent post for Harvard Business Review.
Being truly customer-centric, he says, requires finding out what your customers need and want, then structuring your products and services with the intention of solving their problems.
Becoming customer-centric means looking at an enterprise from the outside-in rather than the inside-out — that is, through the lens of the customer rather than the producer. It’s about understanding what problems customers face in their lives and then providing mutually advantageous solutions.
Gulati cites Best Buy as an example of a business that is truly customer-centric because it responds to the findings of its customer research with inherent structural changes in how it does business.
For example, the company learned that the majority of its customers were women. These women reported that they detested installing products themselves, wanted their purchases to come with all necessary accessories, and generally hated their experiences at Best Buy.
In response, Best Buy began offering “bundled” product packages, and bought the Geek Squad services to provide installation and technical help.
Although the moves sound simple, these changes required a ton of work, planning, and re-organisation on the corporate side. But it was worth it: this customer-focused approach is one reason Best Buy is still around, while competitors like Circuit City have disappeared.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.