Ingredients of customer centricity: Extreme Customer Obsession

We are in the midst of a Copernican Revolution; businesses that revolve around their customers are outperforming and outlasting those brands that believe their customers ought to revolve around them. The Copernican Revolution of the 21st century is that of Customer Centricity. To become a more customer-centric organization, there are three core ingredients to consider:

    1. Extreme Customer Obsession
    2. Extreme Speed
    3. Extreme Creativity


Tweetaway orangeTweetaway: Extreme Customer Obsession is the first key ingredient towards a more consumer-centric organization via @InSites #mrx #newmr #CEXP #CXresearch #CEXPresearch

This post explores the first ingredient, Extreme Customer Obsession. The word ‘Obsession’ can so easily lend itself to (potentially) unhealthy connotations. Rest assured though, that’s not how we mean it; when we refer to Extreme Customer Obsession, we mean having a (healthy!) enthusiasm and passion for your customers. To cultivate an understanding, and to act on that understanding in ways that will surprise and delight them.
Why is an Extreme Customer Obsession necessary? Well, for starters, consumers are only consumers for a small portion of the day. The rest of the day they are parents, children, employers, employees, artists, critics, gamers, trainers, and the like. Surely it then follows that despite being consumers for a few moments each day, the needs we experience in these moments vary within the context of our multiple roles. In other words, with a healthy dose of customer obsession, you can become more relevant and meaningful in the lives of your consumers, well beyond the traditional boundaries of your category.

Tweetaway orangeTweetaway: Consumers are only consumers a small portion of the day via @InSites #mrx #newmr #CEXP #CXresearch #CEXPresearch

Our extensive work in the Customer Experience field, for a multitude of brands across several categories, verticals, industries and sectors, has allowed us to create and define what we call the ‘Consumer Centricity Model’, which highlights three important layers from both a consumer and an organizational perspective, and seeks to address the question of not only how to better understand your consumer, but how to best deliver on that understanding.

Let’s unpack this in further detail with some practical examples. To do so, in this article we will focus on the first layer of the Consumer Centricity Model (download free Customer Experience Revolution bookzine for more info n the other layers):

Moments vs Touchpoints:

The first layer of the Consumer Centricity Model is all about identifying the customer’s moments of truth, which touchpoints (whether these exist or still have to be created) align to these moments and, most importantly, understanding the underlying customer needs in those moments. We identify these moments, touchpoints and needs by thoroughly mapping the customer journey.
A journey map is essential; too many organizations spend a lot of time, money and energy on improving existing touchpoints, without having a clear indication or understanding of their customer’s veritable moments of truth. Too many companies suffer from having this blind spot, focusing too much on potentially irrelevant touchpoints. Don’t put the cart before the horse; first define the moments of truth before developing the relevant touchpoint, not the other way around.

Tweetaway orangeTweetaway: Too many organizations spend time, money and energy on fixing irrelevant touchpoints via @InSites #mrx #newmr #CEXP #CXresearch #CEXPresearch

This ‘map before you act’ approach is also what helped classifieds website Gumtree grow within the automotive vertical. A community was set up to identify opportunities to get more consumers to visit the Gumtree platform when they’re in the market for a second-hand vehicle. The result was a used-car purchasing journey map based on consumer stories and experiences collected through the Gumtree research community. A key observation was the fact that consumers cited early on that they feel insecure about the purchasing journey. The journey map thoroughly illuminated the customers’ concerns and enabled Gumtree to break the mold by adding value beyond their core value proposition of simply connecting buyer to sellers. Gumtree started supporting its customers by instilling a sense of confidence and security, and subsequently managed to grow their market share within the automotive vertical.
An Extreme Customer Obsession can lead you to garner a better understanding of your customers, capturing their moments of truth, and infinitely more importantly, of how to engage with them in these moments of relevance. It can further highlight how your customers interact with your brand, leading to more opportunities to diversify your approach in surprising and delighting them. But it’s simply the first layer, the first step, the start of your journey to becoming more customer-centric.
In our upcoming posts we will focus on Extreme Speed and Extreme Creativity, to take these theoretical learnings forward with practical implementation.
If you don’t wish to wait for the next installment in this series, you can always download your free copy of our Customer Experience Revolution bookzine.
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