The Human Touch at the Center of Customer-Experience Excellence - Millie Tan

Image from Unsplash by Claudio Schwarz

As technology is on the rise, there is a growing need for customer-centricity to remain at the fore. Customer relations and customer satisfaction cannot be ignored in light of newer, more efficient mechanisms. It might ring as cliché but will always remain true — the customer is key. And corporations would do good not to forget this. I recently read an insightful report by Mckinsey titled ‘The human touch at the center of customer-experience excellence.’ It highlights the rising importance of focusing on customer relations for any successful company, providing an edge over competitors, and gaining and retaining customers who now have access to enough data to make informed decisions.

‘But there’s a downside to this tech-driven pursuit of customer centricity: It can easily turn into a race for the latest “breakthroughs” and tools, regardless of whether they help solve problems in a way that customers will value. However seemingly helpful every shiny and new technology may be, investing in them is not enough to transform a company into a truly customer-centric business.’

‘So how can companies become genuinely customer-centric? The experiences of leading customer-experience businesses show that customer-centricity starts at the top, with a clear purpose that permeates through every organizational level and activates individuals. This purpose translates into the right structure, product, and services, and only then is reflected in critical enablers such as tools and technology.’

The report uses a pyramid to explain this customer-centric approach that begins at the top. Building aspiration and purpose is at the top of the pyramid, followed by a transformation of how businesses operate and cemented at the bottom with mechanisms that enable this transformation.

This can also be seen as a three-stage process of discovery, design, and deliver.’ Discovering what is important to the customers and employees, designing a new culture, and then delivering on the promise of a customer-centricity.

The cultivation of a ‘people-first culture,’ is the ideal. ‘In a world where business models are quickly replicated, culture can be the ultimate competitive advantage.’

‘Culture drives performance. Regardless of industry, healthy companies outperform unhealthy ones by a factor of three. We define “health” as the organization’s ability to align around a common vision, execute against that vision effectively, and renew itself through innovation and creative thinking. Culture enables successful transformation. People-related activities that reinforce culture are critical to actualizing large-scale change. Organizations that tackle them properly increase their odds of a successful transformation by between 30 and 79 percent.’

Long-term, customer-centricity propelled by technology is what will differentiate and keep companies afloat. The discovery of a culture unique to each business, and the recognition of hindrances brought by ‘hardened hierarchy’, and the building of ‘empowerment engines’ are the keys to success.

Read the original article here.



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