Product centricity to customer centricity

(Photo Courtesy: Purdue University)

In her blog today, Patty Seybold shares a commentary about where organizations go wrong in the journey from product centricity to customer centricity. In Graham Hill’s own words –

“The stages start with pure product-centricity. This typically evolves through the development of internal networks of colleagues who need to work together to deliver the value proposition; to cross-functional teams that formalise the collaboration of the internal networks; to a customer segment coordinator who takes on formal responsibility for collaboration across different teams; to a matrix organisation with nascent segment teams reporting to both product and customer management; and finally to bona fide segment managers responsible for all aspects of segment experience delivery. The vertical silos of product-centricity have given way to the more connected, more collaborative customer-centric organisation.”

The key phrases (for me) from the above are :
  • work together to deliver the value proposition (ought not to loose sight of this)
  • formal responsibility for collaboration across teams (in the absence of a culture that fosters team work)
  • responsible for all aspects of segment experience delivery (key enabler – accountability)
As important as the end result is, the journey & the milestones involved are as or more important in ensuring effectiveness & sustainability of the end state. 

Quality – The Customer Centric Type

Intangible Quality: Engage in the Third Quality Revolution
Found this interesting article on Intangible Quality on RocketPosts – nice read. 
Some of my take aways –
  • Want to create products that meet the subconscious wants and needs of our customers. We want the customer, upon experiencing our products, to say, “This is exactly what I always wanted. This is what I have always needed. I cannot imagine what life was like before I had it.” 
  • Seeking quality that pleases the customer in ways he never before even imagined.
  • It is a concept of quality that falls into an almost spiritual realm. It means creating a product, or providing a service, that profoundly affects the customer. It is not only defect-free, but it is exactly what the customer has always desired.
  • Intangible quality requires a new model of customer awareness— one that includes continuous, meaningful contact, and a spiritual connection with a customer’s needs. In effect, you must become a virtual employee in your customer’s organization—seeing what he sees, understanding what she understands. Then, you must use this knowledge to develop possibilities of which the customer has never before dreamed. In a world where Six Sigma is commonplace, the goal of profoundly affecting your customer is the next quality battleground.
Some of the examples quoted in the article allude to concepts O’Reilly uses for the Web 2.0 definition (usage of data to improve customer experience – eg. Amazon, usage of CRM, etc. 

#1 Novartis initiates customer centricity initiative

Bloggers & pundits alike are saying that the tough economic situation would prompt many companies to get onto the customer focus bandwagon. True to their words, Novartis has announced its restructuring plan to implement many initiatives – Customer Centricity being one of them. 

  • to implement a new regional US business model that will better address customer needs and differences in local market dynamics. 
  • is designed to be more effective at driving sales growth by better meeting the diverse needs of multiple customers as well as a more efficient deployment of resources

Amazon executives on same page wrt Customer Centricity

While talking about corporate creativity, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels mentions about Amazon wanting to be the world’s most customer centric company. The same theme can be read & heard in quite a few of Bezos’ interviews as well.

Note that the Amazon executive team seems to be on the same page wrt their overarching goal. Once this is clear, as Vogels mentions, all other decisions become more abvious & actions that much easier.

Other posting on the subject: