Ingredients of customer centricity: Extreme Speed

Customer centricity requires brand owners to step outside the boundaries of their business and look at their value proposition through the eyes of their consumers. It’s the Copernican Revolution of the 21st century, and in this series, we’re evaluating the three core ingredients to becoming a truly customer-centric organization: Extreme Customer Obsession, Extreme Speed and Extreme Creativity.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: in today’s fast-paced environment, it’s not enough just to understand your customer, you have to act on that understanding… and even more so, you have to act on that understanding quickly! If you want to improve your organization’s internal clock speed and time-to-market, you have to adopt an agile, flexible, and fast approach. Speed is the key.

Tweetaway orangeTweetaway: In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s not enough just to understand your customer, you have to act on that understanding… and you have to act on that understanding QUICKLY! via @InSites #mrx #newmr #CEXP #CXresearch #CEXPresearch

So how do you gain speed and agility in your Customer Experience program? Bundling the best practices of our CX work for a multitude of brands and businesses has led to the creation of the following Customer Experience research program roadmap. This agile and iterative process captures 3 key phases:


The first phase in your Customer Experience research program consists of developing a Customer Experience Strategy starting from existing (business) knowledge, topped with deep consumer understanding. You can achieve this by leveraging your existing knowledge (whether compiled through previous research, conversations with customers, or overall expertise in the category). Most organizations already have a wealth of knowledge available to them.


The second level highlights the essential need for mapping the customer journey (beyond your own products or touchpoints). As we discussed in our previous post – Ingredients of Customer Centricity: Extreme Customer Obsession – conducting a thorough customer journey map is critical to better understand your customers and their various moments of truth. Once you have a sound understanding of their journey, the Customer Experience Development phase is all about experimentation – employing iterative ideation, co-creation and testing processes, in order to come up with relevant solutions. ‘Agility and flexibility’ are the name of the game.
The ideation and prototype phase ought to be an iterative process with short and quick feedback loops, alternating consumer perspectives with the business perspective, moving from rough ideas to full-fledged concepts, to creating prototypes, fine-tuning and optimizing every step of the process.

Tweetaway orangeTweetaway: If you want to improve your organization’s internal clock speed and time to market, you have to adopt an agile, flexible, and fast approach. Speed is the key via @InSites #mrx #newmr #CEXP #CXresearch #CEXPresearch



At the end of the Customer Experience research program roadmap, we have tracking. It’s an important facet, because surely you want to know the impact on your business and your customers, and how to improve accordingly. Tracking, when combined with the preceding phases, can become an invaluable problem-solving tool.
Consider the following Customer Experience research program we embarked on with Volkswagen Poland. VW understood that the Customer Experience was a core element to distinguish themselves from their competitors in an increasingly homogenic market. The objective of the research was to come up with new consumer-centric Customer Experience solutions. Here it was crucial to start from the consumers’ perspective, to identify the consumer needs. The CX strategy phase of the program consisted of knowledge harvesting; from connecting insights from previous research, to interviewing VW personnel and, more importantly, its customers, and it allowed us to map the ten core needs experienced by virtually every buyer.
For the CX development phase, we organized ideation exercises with VW stakeholders, as well as in a co-creation with the eÿeka creative consumers network. These ideas were further evaluated, resulting in 11 concepts which have been prototyped and are currently in a live test environment in the Volkswagen home concept store in Warsaw, Poland. Together with real consumers in a real sales environment, they are being tested and optimized, while continuously gathering business results that will help roll out these features in the wider VW network.
Being consumer-centric requires an organizational shift where you not only embrace a consumer-first mentality (Extreme Customer Obsession), but where you also act upon that understanding (Extreme Speed) in a timely fashion. You need to detect customers’ needs and frictions as they arise and be able to swiftly deliver solutions across the journey. If not, you might lose what you should value the most: your customers!
Curious about how you can speed up your CX initiatives? Get in touch or find out more by downloading your free copy of our Customer Experience Revolution bookzine.
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