Agar-ing the Future II

FC Now reader Rob points out a new study of two companies attempting to implement a customer-centric corporate culture that seems to back up an earlier report on corporate culture and change efforts.

Among the study's key findings:

  • For staff to internalize a customer orientation, they must experience an unbroken chain of passionate, sincere, unified, and committed leadership from top levels executives to local managers.
  • Interdepartmental connectedness is critical for effective implementation.
  • It is important that customer-focused data is used across the organization by many stakeholders.

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  • Bob Flores

    The key to developing a customer-centric corporate environment is certainly a concept rooted in change, and transformation, but where most people fail in their attempts is not in their enthusiasm or intentions. It's in their execution plans.

    In order to created a truly customer-centric corporation, on must have a road map to follow. Intentions are not enough. And that roadmap is not one that ends at the Customer Care Center, or in Sales and Marketing. In fact, that is where it begins.

    In order to truly engrain the concept of customer-focus into everything that a corporation does, one must create an Operational Managment Strategy across ALL organizations that encompasses customer-impacting measurments, processes, systems, data and infrastructure that places the customer at the center of all change.

    While a seemingly daunting task, its not as complex as one might first guess.

    First and foremost, one must assess the current state of the organization and the operational support mechanisms in place that are required to effectively implement change. Check out for a an excellent resource that is free, takes about 5 minutes, and gives the user a baseline from which to work.

    This kind of assessment is the foundation upon which a corporation can begin to integrate organizational level change strategies that incorporate customer-centric operational managment throughout the corporation, bringing focus to the common denominator amongst ALL departments within a corporation (operations).

    A common mistake that most of my clients make when trying to create this kind of environment, is that they believe that "operations" is a concept that is only useful in production or service processes. It's not. And effective Operational Managment Strategy is one that encompasses the entire corproation and brings to bear all of the corporate assessts with the single objective of servicing the customer.

    It's this kind of departure from traditional corporate approaches that has lead companies such as Gortex, Nokia, and Time Warner Telecom to weather the economic downturn, and prosper while their competition has falen behind.

    Customer-centric operations is not magic, but it does require a solid plan with tangible objectives.

    Bob Flores
    COO - BTT Solutions Inc.
    Author: My Budget is Gone, My Consultant is Gone, What the HELL Happened?!?!