In this guest piece, Lee Naylor, managing director at The Leading Edge (an Enero Company) argues why it’s not about customer centricity, but customer value.
“Putting the customer at the centre of what we do” is a line heard time and time again. Businesses often use it as a humble guise to portray customer-centricity to their consumers and competition. They look to use Net Promoter Score or similar metrics as a way of ensuring they are on the right track, but is this the right way to ensure we’re truly thinking about the customer?
Let’s define, first of all, what we are looking to achieve; at the end of the day it is about reaching current and potential customers with products and services they want. So how do we ensure we do this? It’s also not asking what customers need (I don’t really need an Apple Watch- but I do want one) – it’s about finding out what the customer actually values, and being able to deliver and articulate products and services to match.
A lot of the work The Leading Edge have been doing with service companies has been understanding exactly that. What’s difficult is finding out not only what they value today but also what they will value tomorrow. This is all to do with the frame of reference we give the customer. If we talk about banking, then we will frame our responses with what is in the banking field today, keeping us static in terms of the customer value proposition.
A good customer value proposition is the way we are able to deliver to meet a customer’s value. This is done by creating an enduring platform that aligns with the brand and allows us to prioritise and make sense of our products and activities.
Our work is to start broadening the aperture, and then gradually focus on the area of interest; what we refer to as the 4C’s – Cultural, Consumer, Category and Company. Using these four lenses allows us to understand what our customers are likely to value.