True Customer Value – an Elusive Concept
Hardly anything is more elusive in the business world of today as the concept of customer value. Many organizations claim to embrace it when in reality only a handful of them truly understand the meaning behind it. Creating superior customer value is much more than tweaking a product or establishing a company social media profile. It is an extensive and ongoing process that often requires a complete restructuring of the organization and rethinking of its strategy with one ultimate focus – the customer.
Adopting such an outside-in mindset, however, is not an easy task. Mainly because a customer-centered strategy requires putting the needs of the customer ahead of those of the company, which directly contradicts with the long-established way of doing business. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.“ This 19th century quote perfectly illustrates the way business has been traditionally done – focus on the product and the customer will come ready to adapt to it. Modern organizations must work to overcome this outdated way of thinking and the benefits will soon follow.
The digital age we are currently living in makes the task of creating superior customer value easier than ever. Companies can now have direct communication channels with their customers through social media, collect tremendous amounts of data on them that can help them understand their current desires and predict their future ones, and use automation to take care of all dull and routine processes so they can focus on the most important thing for the organizational success – the customer. All the tools necessary to lead a customer-centered strategy are available. The only thing left to do is to adopt the mindset needed to utilize them. Unfortunately, this can prove to be the hardest part of the process.
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