The challenge facing any organisation seeking to develop a truly customer-centric culture is how to get past paying lip service to an ideal and build a focus on customers into the organisational DNA.

In the first part of this series we looked at four aspects of how successful organisations begin the process of placing the customer at the centre of everything they do and avoid the trap of “customer-centricity” becoming a meaningless mantra.

In part two we look at how early success in building customer-centric organisations must be shared broadly; why everything must start with solid evidence for the actions that follow; the pitfalls of believing data can solve every problem; the importance of the right people, process and platforms; and how an organisation actually behaves when it has become truly client-centric.

Nine aspects of true customer-centricity

1. The mandate
2. Thinking big, starting small
3. Holding out for a hero
4. The penny drops
5. Shared success
6. Culture (and evidence) eats strategy for breakfast
7. Data doesn’t solve people problems
8. People, process and platforms
9. Day-to-day decisions

Shared success

Building ranks of true believers in placing the customer first requires people across the organisation to be resourced to deliver and empowered to contribute. It cannot be just imposed from the top down, nor through process documents or buying a new technology platform. It’s meaningless unless people buy in, believe it will work and can see how it will make their job better, and, of course, improve the outcomes for their customers.

When you start to see wins happening, it’s important to share that success across the organisation. It is not just the marketing or customer insights team that should get the pat on the back or see the difference it’s making; the customer-facing staff and all levels of an organisation should be included. Knowing you are making a difference in people’s lives makes anybody’s job fundamentally more meaningful. You strive to do that not because your boss told you to but because it makes your job more worthwhile.