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Opinion CX Strategy

Is the Trend Towards Customer Centricity Genuine?

Is the trend towards customer centricity really genuine or are there other factors at play?

And why does it matter as long as the shift is happening?

We answer those two questions separately in this post.

Part 1: Is the trend towards customer centricity really genuine?

In most industries the answer is still no for a majority of the players.

How do we know? By looking at what’s driving the changes in their approach to customers. Here’s a look at some key industries and the main drivers of customer centric changes:

a. Banking: Pressure is coming from all sides -- regulatory, non traditional services like Paypal and even the move away from credit cards.  In response, the banks are taking a stronger look at customer feedback and seeking to mitigate the factors that are driving customers to new services.

b. Healthcare: Obamacare has put health insurers in the middle of consumer services and they're working hard to make it simpler for insurees.  It's as much about managing their support costs as it is about making things easier for insurees.  With the exception of Kaiser, which has spent years focusing on a 'customer centric' strategy, we're doubtful about the core motives of the other insurers.

c. Wireless: While the big players continue to leverage their oligopoly, the real pressure for change has come from small upstart players like TracFone and Boost Mobile — all of who offer consumers the flexibility of non contract services with all the bell and whistles of a long term contract.

Our conclusion: there still isn’t a widespread belief among companies that putting the customer the center is the smartest way to run a business. All signs point tho the majority simply reacting to external pressures.

Part 2: Why does it matter?

In the end, the greatest customer centric businesses are not built in reaction to external pressures. What drives them is a genuine belief among leadership that customer centric business models offer the best growth opportunities and competitive advantages. Short of that belief, the true potential of the customer centric version of a business will never be met, primarily because the last mile is so difficult to traverse.

It doesn’t matter if Hertz offers a ZipCar like service of Yellow Cab adds the ability to order a cab on your smart phone. Those versions of the customer centric approach are half-baked and lack the commitment to transform a business’ competitiveness.

Apr 22, 2014 | Original Link

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