Over the past few weeks, we have been bouncing around the concept of customer centricity. Sparked by two thoughts really. The first is that many of our clients are asking for help in their becoming more customer centric. We wanted to think about what we have learned about this so far, and what we can think of that might allow us to be more helpful still. It also raises the question how customer centric we are ourselves. The second thought was an observation by Colin; could it be that within the next few years, the concept of ‘customer’ disappears?
It is this second concept we wanted to blog about. We have discussed Simon Sinek’s idea that,
people don’t buy what you have, instead they do business with you because they believe what you believe.
We have talked about shared value, & collective impact, & finding a ‘coalition of willing’ to address certain social needs.
We looked again at Richard Barrett’s seven levels of corporate consciousness & how in the layers above transformation customer relationships change from being ends
in themselves to being means to creating a better world.
We reckoned that, in being customer-centric, some organisations are really being egocentric, i.e. they focus on the customer only because it is good for themselves. Yet other organisations do genuinely have the best interest of their customers at heart. And for them, we wondered, are they not for bringing about a world that results from their customers achieving? And if so, are provider and customer not effectively partners in bringing about that world, rather than merely provider and customer? We did also wondered whether it is at all possible to ‘create a better world’ in the first place. Or is, as many argue, global happiness a constant, allowing us to make improvement in limited pockets only?
We decided that plenty of conversation is to be had on this topic, and that we would keep the ball rolling. True to our motto that together we are smartest, we decided to blog to solicit views from the collective. So may we pose some questions for stimulation:
Would we be most impactful if we articulated a vision of what we want the world to look like, and started thinking of our customers as potential collaborators in achieving that vision?
Would that fundamentally change us?
Would we still be able to make a decent living?