Think of a recent conversation you had with a friend or colleague about purchasing a consumerHow To Give Your Customer What They Want product. If you gave a positive review, what was it differentiating that company from its competitors? Was it the brand and brand separating them from the pack? Or was it the end to end experience in your buying journey?
While almost all companies claim to be customer centric, why do only some fully meet the needs of customers? According to Bill Foulkes, it’s because the organizations that “get it” embrace good design thinking; because good design thinking is the same thing as good business thinking.
The idea that the two seemingly different ways of thinking are the same stems from their roots. Good business thinking and leadership uses empathy, inductive reasoning, empowering others, and it’s human centered. These characteristics parallel the very best characteristics of design thinking.
That was actually Bill Foulkes first of 5 lessons he shared with the audience during his keynote at the Conversations on the Future of Business event.
Here are the following four.
It’s About Culture
The companies who truly get customer centricity have the DNA embedded into their culture. Think of the Whole Foods, Zappos, and Zip Car companies. There are numbers of case studies on how the way they hire, train, and work; placing a huge emphasis around the customer. While at times their culture is classified as “non-corporate” and “quirky,” this is what allows them to anticipate their customer wants, as well as fulfill those needs.
It’s About Embracing Uncertainty
Real creativity, the kind that inspires the best customer centricity, requires risk taking and embracing the uncertainty of new methods.
While a great brand is confident of whom they are and the quality of their product, they are never too sure. They anticipate market changes and look from an outsiders view, never being so embedded that they’re unable to react to the customer’s shifting demands and expectations.
Love Your Processes
Art and design, Bill shared, are a process. While design thinking at its core is considered free flowing, it still follows a process to develop a resolution. He advises that if you’re collecting data there’s no reason for you to be complacent. Use the technologies that exist and are within reach.
Analytics solutions empower you to have insights into what your customer wants to become. Bill shared with us the successful example of Amazon. The online retail giant could have easily become complacent with growing revenue, however despite their success they continued to try and uncover the next request of their customers before they could ask it. As a result of this discovery, Prime was launched, offering its users the free shipping they wanted in return for a subscription fee. As a result, Amazon launched a new, successful, business model and had happy customers at the end of the day. This couldn’t have been done without looking at the data, understanding their core customer, and taking a risk.
Get It Done
“It’s about experimenting, failing, prototyping, and doing it again,” Bill shared with us. Getting it done can be one of the most difficult things, but if you never try you will never know.
What else would suggest as a lesson for companies trying to truly become more customer centric? Do you think design thinking is the best route? Let me know by either commenting on this article or telling me on Twitter @LindseyNNelson
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