To keep pace with rapidly changing business environments, companies are under the gun to put customers at the center of everything. Many businesses are implementing customer-centricity strategies at great speed. A survey of 315 business executives conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that 43% of organizations plan to have the strategy in place in a year or less. The study, “Making Customer-Centric Strategies Take Hold,” was sponsored by customer experience strategy leader Strativity Group.
The study found that the implementation of these strategies is likely to falter as many organizations fail to create meaningful visions behind them. The challenges start at the top: The survey found there is a distinct lack of confidence on the part of respondents in their organization’s ability to clearly articulate a vision and strategy and align senior teams around them.
“Many customer-centric strategies fail during execution because they were designed for the boardroom not for the customer-facing employee,” said Strativity President Lior Arussy. “It is time to bridge the executive-employee gap with an integrated approach, linking strategy and vision, organizational alignment, change management, employee training and empowerment, with measurements.”
The study uncovered a significant amount of organizational un-readiness. There was a significant gap between the importance respondents place on training and the ability of their organizations to provide it: nearly 80% believe it is very important and only approximately 40% say their organizations do it well.
Strativity’s Arussy offers five strategies organizations can use to successfully accelerate customer centricity:
- Create a meaningful, human cause
- Integrate initiatives into a holistic program
- Design strategies for employee performance
- Align processes with metrics to accelerate
- Set the standard at “exceptional” in everything