When companies embrace customer-centricity, the maturity of their approach depends heavily on their ability to measure progress. What does it mean to succeed in a customer-centric organization, and what are the benchmarks that a company should use to assess and communicate its growth? The right metrics will indicate where progress is being made and what adjustments to make to accelerate that progress. Strong metrics will also convince executives and team members of the value of a customer-centric approach.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for companies transitioning from product or channel-based approaches, but there are some tried and true strategies that have been tested by companies embracing customer-centricity. While these approaches can help any enterprise measure progress and benchmark success, they are especially helpful in overcoming the challenges that often arise when adopting a customer-centric approach.
1. Adopt a growth mindset
The end goal of customer-centricity is to make a company’s best customers the focus of their business. However, it’s important to also remember the why behind this shift: customer-centricity enables businesses to enjoy significant, sustainable long-term growth. This change also requires employees to adopt a growth mindset and orient their work accordingly.
When choosing new metrics, team leaders should focus on what drives business growth. What are the goals and benchmarks associated with revenue growth? It usually helps to identify common use cases for the company’s solutions, and create measurable goals and targets based on those specific examples. As the organization’s customer-centricity matures, these concrete use cases can be expanded to accommodate a growing number of applications.
2. Choose metrics that resonate in the C-suite
One of the most common challenges for companies shifting to customer-centricity is misalignment between teams and a lack of executive buy-in. With endorsement and advocacy from the C-suite, teams will be encouraged to invest in customer-centricity and do what it takes to make the new approach a success. It can take time to convince executives of the value of this strategy.
For customer-centric success in both the short and long term, team leaders should choose metrics that will resonate with the company’s higher-ups — this doesn’t mean only the CEO and CFO, but also the board of directors and other senior leaders. These executives need to know what it takes to achieve customer-centric success, as well as what the results will look like when goals have been achieved. Once a set of metrics has been identified, team leaders should regularly track their performance and circulate progress as compared to goals. This proactive approach will keep the C-suite on board as customer-centricity demonstrates its value.
3. Develop customer-centric KPIs that all teams can support
What do metrics look like before a company transitions to customer-centricity? In a product-centric company, marketing, sales, engineering, and finance divisions typically use different KPIs, complicating how performance is measured. Customer-centric measurement requires a completely new set of metrics — ones that every team can understand and use.
Developing metrics for customer-centricity should be a collaborative process. As more teams adopt the new strategy, key leaders should develop a unified set of measurements and benchmarks. Once these are chosen, the company should publish the goals to create transparency and accountability.
4. Remember the ultimate metric
Pivoting to a customer-centric approach is tough — it requires organization-wide adjustments and a consistent focus on detailed performance metrics. It’s important to keep your eyes on the ultimate goal: growing the business.
At the end of the day, the most important metrics will always be revenue and profitability. These are the measurements that will convince everyone — from the newest hire to the CEO — that customer-centricity is worth the effort. Once a team has identified opportunities for customer-centricity down to the use case level, they must have measurable outcomes tied directly to revenue or profitability. The goal is to make these metrics as clear as possible: Customer-Centric Action X led to Revenue/Profitability Outcome Y.
To see customer-centricity in action, read "Amperity & Servco Team Up to Drive Customer-Centricity."