March 8, 2021, 0 Comments
How Customer-Centricity Factors into Successful Change Management
This is the second of a two-part series of articles on disruption and the importance of customer-centricity. The first part of this series was published in February’s newsletter.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best predictors of successful organizational change. But first, let’s summarize the key highlights of last month’s article on How to use Disruption as an Opportunity for Change:
- Most people are resistant to change, yet great leaders use disruption for capitalizing on change and improving customer-centricity.
- The ways to prioritize change, and taking challenges, and turning them into opportunities included:
- Gallup has also identified seven principles leaders can use for effective change management.
- Clearly articulate the vision for change.
- Involve the right people: limited vs. broad involvement.
- Communicate the right information at the right time.
- Always account for resistance to change.
- Celebrate short-term wins without declaring premature victory.
- Effectively anchor the change to the organization.
- Always plan for change to be “the only constant.”
The Best Predictors of Successful Organizational Change
According to Gallup, the best predictors of successful organizational change are strong leadership and engaged employees. Plenty of articles outline successful organizations that have strong company cultures and strong customer-centric practices. So, how does this help with the change management process?
Forrester Research states that to succeed, customer-centricity should be embedded in the way you do business. Therefore customers must be made the focal point of your business strategy and operations. Customer-centric organizations set high expectations for their employees to provide extraordinary experiences to customers, and in turn, customers reward these companies with trust. Customer-centric organizations also collect various data points that help determine ways to provide customers with better and additional services and products that, in turn, make their customers successful. Altogether, this knowledge helps drive decision-making processes, regardless of disruption.
We all know that creating a strong customer-centric culture isn’t for the faint of heart, and it requires an ongoing commitment throughout the organization. What customer-centric organizations do well is they continuously build and strengthen customer relationships. So, how have they continued this strong bond during COVID-19, where everything is virtual?
Scott Steinberg, a futurist and keynote speaker, offers these best practices to create meaningful relationships from a distance. Here are excerpts from one of his articles. To read the entire article, click here.
1. Create good reasons to be in contact.
Tactical takeaway: Rather than attempt routine check-ins with clients, instead create cleverly-packaged offers that help customers solve pressing problems—then creatively pitch these programs as can’t-miss insights, educational programs, and events.
2. Make a point to show your appreciation.
Tactical takeaway: Create fun, quirky and heartwarming mailers to surprise and delight your customers (and help you stay on their radar) with a message of appreciation or unexpected goodwill and cheer. Or, set up a virtual lunch and send your client’s favorite meal to his or her desk.
3. Become a go-to source of insight and education.
Tactical takeaway: Distill your expertise and insight into articles, guides, e-books, whitepapers, social media posts, videos, and other snackable content that can quickly steer clients towards the answers they need to help deal with ongoing challenges and disruptions.
4. Shine a spotlight on your clients.
Tactical takeaway: Establish partner-focused programs and publishing channels that put customers (and customer stories) front and center to show your appreciation, offer support and build awareness for their hard work and efforts.
5. Source partner feedback and input.
Tactical takeaway: Invite clients to offer feedback and input into the development process, create more opportunities for customers to share their opinion, and look for ways to promote greater ongoing collaboration.
Steinberg comments, “The way forward in challenging times is always to work together – and, as ever, you and your customers can continue to do so successfully simply by looking for clever and creative ways to work (albeit digitally for the moment); hand-in-hand.”
It’s never too late to lean into improved customer-centricity regardless of disruption. Don’t waste this opportunity to implement some or all these ideas or create your own.