One of the topics we’re regularly asked to help with is customer centricity. At first glance, this often appears to be additional work, the purpose of which seems questionable.
Understanding the principles and tools behind customer centric thinking and working takes a bit of time. But once understood and practiced, embedding a customer-centric way of working within your organisation significantly adds value and saves a lot of effort – because the products and services offered are not only verifiably relevant to your customers, but also truly differentiated from the broader competitive set.
The most difficult part of implementing a customer-centric mindset is the unconscious bias-trap we all too often find ourselves in: “We know our customers already.“ „This is what we’ve been doing all along.“ „It works, so why should we change it?”
Thinking this way seduces us into making assumptions. We deduct “facts” from received information or interpret the data with our individual unconscious biases fast at work.
Observing customer behaviour directly and entering into a dialogue with your customer and consumers allows you to verify these assumptions. Without this iterative step, we are in danger of stereotyping, and risk wasting the opportunity to place a truly impactful message or to sustainably develop a new product/service.
I love this film by IDEO’s Tom Kelley where he describes how the team has made a crucial observation when it comes to toothbrush design for children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSFLyO3iyFs
It reminds me of the importance of looking behind the scenes in order to successfully make an impact on the market and create value for the organisation.
Few people have coined the phrase ‚customer centricity‘ more than Clayton Christensen. The idea that consumers hire a specific product for a specific job is extremely impactful. Keeping this “job to be done” in mind and constantly adjusting it depending on how circumstances change and evolve is key to success. You can watch Clayton explaining this here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfGtw2C95Ms