On the face of it, customer-centricity is easy.  All you need to do is figure out what your customers need, and give it to them.  But anyone who's attempted to make his business act on the voice of the customer knows better.  Silos, policies and KPI's get in the way.

So companies set up customer-centricity programmes.  They appoint someone with a fancy title and expect this person to succeed where the rest of the business has failed.  But for those in the hot seat, this may be a poisoned gift.  Getting a business to focus on the customer is probably one of the most rewarding, but also difficult challenges any executive can be given.

It is rewarding, because when it you get it right, customer-centricity is probably the biggest contributor to sustainable growth and profit in any company.  It is difficult, because most companies aren't really set up to care about their customers at all.

So as I've had the good fortune of being part of some highly successful customer-centricity projects, I decided to write down some of the lessons I learned along the way.  Some of these lessons are based on my own mistakes, others are borrowed wisdom from those who took on challenges elsewhere.

Either way, I hope a few may be helpful in pointing your business in the right direction.

So you want to be customer centric?

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