Every organization begins its customer-centric journey from a different point. Some larger enterprises may already be using customer data in limited applications, while others may be starting from scratch with no existing customer-based metrics. Regardless of where they begin, each business has a long road ahead.
A key aspect of securing sustainable success is by identifying immediate opportunities and attainable early victories. As companies begin placing the customer at the center of their operations, they follow a framework that begins with using customer data to identify their most valuable patrons. Then, guided by a series of data-driven steps, they optimize their operations in order to find and acquire similar customers. The journey ends only when the entire organization has fully embraced and invested in customer-centricity.
While customer-centricity done right has the power to make significant changes, it’s important to remember the transformation will not happen overnight. Focusing on easier-to-deliver victories offers long-term benefits: first, it demonstrates that customer-centricity can generate immediate value for the company; and second, it helps to develop buy-in and sponsorship from company leaders — a critical component for the initiative’s success.
For data analysts, marketers, and other customer experience practitioners responsible for enacting a customer-centric strategy, here are three key steps to finding and achieving early wins:
1. Find and prioritize your opportunities
As companies embrace customer data for the first time, an overwhelming amount of opportunities may appear. For a solid chance at success, team leaders should filter through and prioritize them. First, look for adjustments that will lead to a quick increase in revenue, then identify opportunities that will deliver results over a period of time — quick steps forward can prove more valuable during the early days of customer-centricity. Finally, teams should conduct a frank assessment of which option is most likely to have backing throughout the organization — not every employee will be ready to embrace change on day one, so choosing the opportunities with enthusiastic support will improve the odds of victory.
Look for adjustments that will lead to a quick increase in revenue, then identify opportunities that will deliver results over a period of time
2. Move with the business
Siloed business units present some of the biggest barriers to customer-centricity, as misalignment in goals and metrics prevents the organization from developing a holistic view of its customers. When choosing the first business processes to apply a customer-centric lens to, team leaders must look beyond their own goals to consider the company’s near-term goals and priorities. Every opportunity exists on a spectrum: how easy will this be to implement, and how much does it align with company priorities? The key is finding the most exciting opportunities to check both boxes — demonstrating that customer-centricity adds value rather than disrupting.
3. Plan before scaling
Most importantly, organizations diving into customer data and customer-centricity should learn to crawl before they walk. Instead of trying to change everything at once, these companies should test new processes in small corners of the business. When these operations prove their value, team leaders can steadily scale them to the entire organization. There’s no such thing as too much planning — strong customer-centric businesses invest heavily in change management and organizational design efforts, making sure that their new processes are in a position to succeed. After achieving some early wins, organizations can accelerate their progress by identifying new partners and technologies that facilitate adoption throughout the business.
For more information on mapping out opportunities and identifying early victories for a customer-centric transformation, revisit our most recent Playbook, “Getting Your Customer-Centric Transformation Started”. The Playbook features a full chapter on delivering on early opportunities and building an ongoing operating model, in addition to valuable information on customer-centric maturity and measurement.