Delivering WOW experience – Customer driven organisation

Delivering WOW experience – Customer driven organisation

The customer driven organisation

The focus of any organization, no matter how big or small, must be the customer. Unfortunately in today’s business climate there is a lot of lip service paid to focusing on the customer, but very little actually being done about it.

Companies actually fool themselves into thinking they are driven by the customer. But the right way to look at this is that it creates a great opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from your competition by really focusing on the customer.

In other words, by moving your corporate culture to being customer-driven rather than internally-driven you can potentially gain some degree of competitive advantage. But what does it mean to be customer-driven? How is the customer driven organisation different from other organisations?

What makes the different?

  • Many organisations set out to satisfy their customers. This nowadays, is the minimum requirement. The customer driven organisation strives to delight its customers.
  • Many organisations ask their customers what their existing needs are. The customer driven organisation understands its customers so well that it helps them to find their latent needs
  • Many organisations seek to give their customers what they expected. Customer driven organisations give them more than they imagined possible.
  • Many organisations try to minimise complaints. Customer driven organisations stimulate their customer’s words of wonder – they say “Wow! I never expected that!”

Deliver WOW through service is Zappos’ family core value #1:

WOW is such a short, simple word, but it really encompasses a lot of things. To WOW, you must differentiate yourself, which means doing something a little unconventional and innovative. You must do something that’s above and beyond what’s expected. And whatever you do must have an emotional impact on the receiver. We are not an average company, our service is not average, and we don’t want our people to be average. We expect every employee to deliver WOW.

Deliver WOW through service, is Zappos’ founding principle and one which is every employee is inculcated with from day one.

The customer driven organisation – 9 focus areas

Companies need to build relationships and go above and beyond for their customers

Delighting the customer

“Words of Wonder” – the Wow – are earned by doing more than merely satisfying customers. They come from delighting them. There are two ways of doing this:

Outstanding performance: give them what they expect but do it to such a high standard and/or such a low cost that they are delighted.

The unexpected: give them more than they expected by satisfying a latent need that they didn’t even know they had – but are delighted when it is satisfied.

Recognising and acknowledging latent needs are both difficult. Not only is the customer unaware of a latent need but may also be resistant to recognising it.

Recognising “latent” needs

Understanding the link between an organisation’s capability and its customers latent needs can lead to strategic breakthroughs of great value. The classic example is the Sony Walkman – a product that no one dreamt they needed until they saw it. Then they couldn’t get enough of it. How, then, did it come about? The Walkman’s creation depended on the synergistic spark between:

  • Sony’s profound understanding of the potential entertainment needs of their customers
  • An intuitive awareness of the potential entertainment needs of their customers

Word-of-mouth recommendations

Moving your organisation to being customer-driven will lead to a positive word-of-mouth effect – the most trusted source of information for consumers around the world.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

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