Design Customer-Centric Business Practices

Well-designed customer experiences have never been more relevant. Here's how to create them.

Your business practices are your company’s habits — repeatable behaviours that enable you to scale effectively. In a product-centric world, these business practices optimise how you manufacture, market, sell, and service your products. In a customer-centric world, you still need to do all of that, but you also have to think about those activities from the customer’s perspective.

Your goal: Make it easy for employees to make it easy for the customer.

Well-designed customer experiences have never been more relevant. Here’s the evidence, according to research:

The only way to deliver excellent experiences is to enable employees at every stage of the customer’s journey.

Make it easy for your employees to make it easy for your customers

Look through the eyes of your customers and redesign what you’re asking them to do — at every touchpoint.

For example, think of how Uber redesigned the entire experience of getting a cab. They looked at every area of friction and simply removed it. No standing in the rain hailing a cab, no waiting to exit your ride to pay. At the same time, they made it easy for drivers to find riders. This combination of improved customer and workforce experience revolutionised an industry.

Define the jobs to be done

The heightened stakes for customer expectations mean you have to solve for your customers’ job to be done in every moment. According to Harvard Business Review, your customers’ job to be done is “the progress that the customer is trying to make in a given circumstance – what the customer hopes to accomplish.”

By defining your customers’ jobs to be done, you’ll be in a better place to meet their needs and reconfigure your business practices to respond to their demands. This way, you’re staying focused on them, rather than your own products.

To deliver personalised and connected experiences at scale, you need to develop a holistic view of the customer and how they’re using your products and services to solve real challenges in their lives. Invest time in learning who your customers are and why they behave as they do.

Get started: Pick one customer touchpoint

Speak to your customers, and they’ll surely give you an example of an inconvenient or clunky touchpoint with your company. Bring together stakeholders from all of the teams that influence that moment to explore how you might fix it. For now, focus on that single touchpoint and the teams and time frames needed to address it.

For example, why should customers have to call you if there is an issue? Might you be able to identify the issue and proactively engage to solve it? With the right data and processes in place, your airline could move you from a cancelled flight to an alternative before you even know it’s cancelled.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine what they need, when, and why. Find a way of making it effortless for them to get what they need. Together with peers in other departments, go through this thought exercise about recentering processes around your customers. How can you move from the company-first practices and processes on the left to the customer-first options on the right?


More Resources

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