Monday, September 25, 2017

Types of Customer Centric Cultures

Believe it or not when someone mentions "customer centric culture", there are probably multiple definitions of what a customer centric culture really is in todays world. New digital technology combinations gives us a shot at creating better customer focused solutions, but isn't the end game defining a customer centric culture? There are three major types of customer centric cultures I have seen, but there are shades of grey uncertainty that make it important for executives to define what they really want when they target customer centric cusltures. The three kinds of cultures are community based, chameleon based and commodity based that all affect how satisfied customers, employees and partners are in the long run.

Community Based Customer Culture:

The community based culture makes you feel special about beibg a part of the organization. This can be described as feeling that you are a part of a family at one end of the spectrum or feeling part of something really special at the other end of the spectrum. This is the kind of culture that is inclusive ans makes you feel appreciated and even wanted or respected. I find that these kind of customer cultures used to be prevalent, but are few and far between these days. In fact many companies abuse your time and patience to optimize their costs and profitability and create and "us versus them" mentality instead of a community.  If your customers belong by treating them special over the long term, they will stick with you.

Chameleon Based Customer Culture:

The Chameleon based culture changes it's expreience with you as it learns who you are and what your immediate, mid term and long term goals are going forward. This kind of culture appears to you as something you need and can change and renew paths and goals as new information or contexts are detected. It is a responsive culture that is aimed at dynamic need fullfillment. It offers a foregiving and encouraging experience that adapts to changing conditions in real time. If your customers belong to you, help the fullfill their needs in ways that fit them.

Commodity Based Customer Culture: 

Definable, standard and repeatable are the watch words of this culture. It's all about leverage standard and practiced responses for the best effeciency. This culture is usuallly tipped to help the organization; not the customer. The customer tends to feel like a commondity and has to deal with well worn paths to an outcome. This lind of cutlture aims to make money. If your customers belong to you, you should be effecient for all parties sake. However taken to an extreme will drive folks away.

Net; Net: 

Like it or not our executives have to define the kind of target customer centric culture they want their organization to represent. Most likely a great and balanced customer culture will have some of each basis built into them over time. The mistake would be to keep going towards a customer centric culture and not make it clear what you are targeting. You won't be rowing in the same direction at a sustainable pace. Digital transformations should help create and mainting a balanced and positive customer culture while targeting effeciency and gaining loyalty.

Additional Reading:

Proud of Your CX
Future Proof CX
Journey Listening
Existing Process Problems
Customer Journeys and Organizational Silos
Journey Mapping for All
Journey Mapping Case Study

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