Enable your organisation to become customer centric

In part one we covered the ways to up-skill your organisation to move towards becoming more customer centric.

Enable your organisation to become customer centric

In part one we covered the ways to up-skill your organisation to move towards becoming more customer centric.

Enable your organisation to become customer centric

Meet the author

James Noble

Managing Consultant

Becoming customer centric is no easy feat. The rewards are evident but the stumbling blocks to get there can often be overlooked. It’s time to take off the blinkers and enable your aspiring customer centric organisation where it needs it most.


As Customer Experience (CX) has grown into the limelight of corporate strategy, it remains dotted with anecdotes of urban legend executives that walk out of meetings if “the customer” wasn’t mentioned in the first five minutes. One of the more granduouse ways you will hear of trying to instigate a CX-centric culture. 

Executives own the vision and strategy for how they want to become customer centric but there are evidently hurdles when delivering this strategy across all employees. Executives agree more often than managers that lack of front line buy-in is a barrier to customer centricity (47% to 36%). Data* used here and onwards cover the net agreement score [sum of respondent percentage strongly agreeing or agreeing to the statement]. 

Managers indicate their prevalent barriers are competing priorities, budget, and the knowledge of how to be customer centric. Storming out of meetings may send a short-term message but really those anecdotes are a caricature of the disconnect that can appear between senior leaders and managers. Evidence nudges us towards staff needing time to focus, understand, and develop, to truly get behind the transformation required.

The benefits of implementing CX-centric initiatives will do more than just improve customer satisfaction. There is major agreement amongst managers that dials elsewhere in the business will start to move.

Upskilling staff is the most popular form of improving CX centricity. However, lack of necessary skills is seen as one of the top challenges for developing customer-centricity at respondents’ companies. Lack of budget and company culture came up equally strongly.  

Budget is not just simply hiring a CX speaker for an away day. The whole spectrum of staff are to feel guilt-free about taking time out to listen, think and then adapt their processes, policy, technology, and behaviour. This is especially important to those not in customer facing roles, where benefits can seem less tangible.Below are areas that, by allowing that freedom to pivot, CX centricity momentum can be triggered:

Hiring and Performance

  • Leadership guide team managers on the appropriate level of CX capability needed from their area and allow them to amend hiring priorities accordingly; everything from job specs down to interview questions. Hiring those with a good understanding and interest of the customer will help incubate the focus among their new peers and spell out to recruiters and the industry that the company is taking CX centricity seriously.

Relatable Onboarding 

  • Create specific onboarding paths for those who are customer facing, and those who are not. This is about understanding both the customer and also the CX learning needs of employees and roles within a firm.

Performance and Goal Setting 

  • Get every employee to care about the client by gaining the investment of every business owner in CX measures of success, e.g. C-SAT and NPS. Clearly some teams have more of a direct influence than others but making all leaders accountable, weighted if necessary, encourages collaboration and forward thinking to move CX into the forefront of conversations and project prioritisation.
  • Accountability for leaders should trickle down to employees to include CX-related goals in their performance agreements. Leaders require the freedom to decide how to make CX relatable for their teams. This is where the disconnect between executives and front line managers can occur as the customer journey and what sits behind it needs to be clearly mapped and understood to help team leads apply and share that knowledge successfully.

Utilise expertise 

  • Disperse in-house CX specialists or agencies to work through all areas of the business and produce a two-way dialogue that can inform front line workers about CX while also feeding back front line experiences to executives 
  • Identify training needs associated with the differing teams the organisation possesses, and have CX specialists work with L&D to tailor the level of detail and development opportunities to the right roles. A generic and mandatory CX e-learning course will be forgotten three months later. 
  • Support the digestion of customer surveys and viewpoints within teams and encourage and incentivise all to offer their thoughts as to why a customer would think that way and how better the business could pivot to meet their needs.

The usual challenge in putting the above recommendations in place tends to be getting a strong handle on how prepared a business is to put them straight into action. Is the in-house level of CX expertise and knowledge enough? Does L&D have the content and capacity to approach tailored CX learning opportunities? Can we build on strong foundations of mapped customer journeys and a CX training needs analysis?

Getting these answers will help judge whether your firm is set up to move towards customer centricity or needs to re-evaluate. In a follow up piece we will cover the change management aspect of enabling a firm to become customer centric, honing in on how to bake in the necessary cultural shift. 

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