A customer-centred culture is an asset

Company culture can be defined in multiple ways. According to one definition, a company’s culture consists of actions and decisions taken based on jointly agreed values.

In a customer-centred business culture, the customer’s need directs all of the operations, from the design of a product and service offering to the customer experience, communications and actions. The customer is the genuine focal point of all activities, not just in speeches and company presentations on websites. At its best, a customer-centred approach is the prevailing attitude and way of operating.

Young companies and start-ups have an advantage when it comes to being customer-oriented. It is considerably easier to build activities around the customer from the outset than to change an established company culture.

A change is a process, and it too must be designed. Cultural change is often about redesigning a more favourable atmosphere, practices or structures. Service design is a means of identifying and amending operating models, processes and structures that hamper customer orientation. Design is the customers’ voice in a company.

When building a customer-centred culture, customer understanding must be made part of the company’s strategy, product development and management. It is not enough for a company to know what the customer wants. A customer-centred company can identify its customers and knows them inside out. By gathering and analysing continuous customer feedback, a company can learn to understand how to keep on improving its products, services and customer experience. A customer-oriented culture is inseparably linked to good customer experience.