Customers

“Hello! I am your customer!”

customer shopping

“Yes, a real person, a human being.

I have my needs and wants, to get through the day, and to achieve what I must. But I also have my hopes, dreams and ambitions. For too long you have treated me as a name or number. You group me into segments, or sometimes just a mass of average people. But I’m not prepared to tolerate that anymore …”

The new customer agenda

Customer – clients and consumers, users and influencers – agendas are changing rapidly. The tectonic shifts in markets, globally connected and digitally enabled, are creating a rapid change in attitudes, and the strategies of brands. Economic downturn was the crying pain of a changing world, the rise of new metropolises of affluence, and the fall of geographical boundaries and socio-economic stereotypes.

Customers have become more different – less about rich and poor, more about young and age, experiences and attitudes. Whilst wealth is consolidated amongst the longer-living boomers, Generation Y and Generation Z (aka millennials) have very different aspirations and priorities. Time matters more, materialism matters less. Add happiness, authenticity, friendship, even mindfulness too. We are more emotional, more human, more collaborative.

Yet there is no longer a mass market of average people, instead many niches, connected and influenced and more similar within their niches across the world than to others within the old geographical boundaries.

We should also be careful not to assume that millennials are the only digital consumers. Like any categorisation, there will be those engaged digitally and others less so.

Building a customer-centric business

Building a business around customers seems obvious, yet the shift from product-centric to customer-centric is rarely easy.

Most companies still think, organize and operate around products – they define themselves by their products and categories, organized around product-centric profit centres, focused on selling products, and (what they make, to be the best in the category), focused on selling and delivering products, measuring success by the volume of products sold.

Peter Fisk helps you build a customer-centric business with more inspired purpose, about how it makes people’s lives better. It focuses on the customer’s world (be it a business client seeking to grow, or a consumer seeking to enjoy life). It organizes around the customer experience, one that brings together products and services to solve real problems, and enables people to achieve more. The perceived value of this is much greater, which leads to far great profit potential, as well as ongoing revenues and advocacy.

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Examples of recent clients include

  • Apotex: Building a customer-centric culture based around the concept of turning clients into “raving fans” by doing more for them, helping them to win in their businesses.
  • RBS: How to create a new bank, Wlliams & Glynn, around customers. Specifying the blueprint for the retail banking concept, that seeks to stand out for its different approach.
  • Santander: Building the world’s most customer-centric bank, working with top 350 managers worldwide, to explore and embed the essentials of customer centricity.
  • SDL: How to innovate a win-win customer experience – about the customer, and then about the business – and harnessing the power of marketing analytics, digital media and automation.
  • Teliasonera: “Customer insights, propositions and experience” design for each key audience in each market of Central and Eastern Europe.

Explore more about customers