4 tips to build your business around your customer

Customers want simplicity, responsive experiences and value for money. Businesses by their nature are complex, often comprising of fragmented systems and processes, and are considerably less flexible than the customers they seek to serve. So how can brands look to organise their business around customers in a way that makes sense? Here’s our tips…


Justify it first

Re-organisation is a meaty task! Many brands struggle to change the way they work whilst also carrying on delivering that work. It costs time and money to-do and is reliant on a lot of moving parts. If you are going to set off on such a journey with the aim of serving your customers better…well then you really need to understand them well. You can’t justify a re-organisation based on yearly customer surveys or online feedback. You need to understand the core attributes that are important to your customers, what brings them into your category, how they relate to your brand in relation to your competition, what are their expectations. It’s only when you understand this that you can even begin to prioritise the way you work to suit.



Culture Change

It’s still true today that most companies will re-organise to save money. This has been especially true in uncertain times like we have seen with the pandemic. In order to start working harder for your customer you’ll need a massive mentality shift in the way everyone looks at things. You’ll need to rip up the old ways of thinking which typically celebrate higher profits and instead think about ways you can reinforce customer-centric behaviour. This isn’t something you can just add to your mission statement, print out on a poster and then never mention again. It must be something led by your leadership team and embraced by all parts of the organisation. The good news is, when you start doing more stuff with the customer in mind, it will naturally lead to higher profits.

"Empathy is key. Put yourselves in your customers shoes and see what they really want. Ask yourself how you would form a business based purely on that." Robert Webster, Client Operations Manager


Forgo Silos

Most businesses will structure themselves around functional expertise. The problem with this is it often inhibits collaboration and often stifles innovation. When you have a group of people solely focused on one task its easy for them to be too close to understand the larger picture and/or be resistant to change for fear it will impact their livelihood. Today many teams are still slowed down by being dependent on each other, and even cross-functional teams often don’t work close enough together, which results in scattered customer journeys, outcomes and service levels.

So when you’re thinking about changing things up, make sure the right people sit together in ways that make sense to your customer. Think about the customer journey and how you can better move from one point to another. Align your most expensive resources to your most valuable customers. for example in customer acquisition; align your high-touch and face-to-face channels only with high-value segments.



Hire Specialist Roles

Amazon famously used to keep an empty chair at all their major board meetings to represent the customer. (Or at least this is the excuse the procurement person came up with as to why he’d bought too many chairs) Many organisations are now deciding to instead fill that empty chair with a Chief Customer Officer or a Chief Experience Officer etc. The role of a CCO or CXO is to be an advocate for customers and enhance their journey. All too often though, they aren’t given enough power, resources or influence in order to impact real change and whilst having a single “owner” is desirable from an organisation’s point of view, they can unwittingly take responsibility away from the employees actually serving customers. Unless you fully support a CCO/CXO they will quickly become a figurehead and may even be perceived as being put in place as a gesture.

Good data and a better understanding of your customers is essential if you want to re-organise. Researchbods have the tools and the team to help you dig deeper so why not get in touch today.

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