Last week we talked about how hard it is for individuals to focus on customer value. If you think it’s hard for one person, try getting an entire company to adopt this mindset.
Everybody in the company has a role. They have to get their job done. They have to design a product or build a product or get a marketing message out or do the finances or…. Every role exists to help the company succeed. Help the company. Help the company. Sadly, that doesn’t say help the customer.
Every (almost every?) person in a company has an impact on customer perceived value. Accounting can mess up an invoice to have a negative impact. Marketing can put messages out that resonate or not. Product can build awesome or mediocre products. Manufacturing can build quality or crap. Customer service can be friendly or annoying. Nobody wants to be bad at their job, but how many are focused on or even realize their impact to their customers?
Each employee is held to some standard. Hopefully, when everyone delivers to standard, the customers are satisfied. But how about delight? Employees who work to a standard, achieve a standard. Employees who strive to delight customers can impact company performance.
When I teach pricing and value to product managers, marketers, and salespeople, we always put ourselves in the minds of the buyers. We ask, “How do our actions now impact decisions buyers will make later?” The same should be true for every other role as well.
How you get there is likely both from the top down and the bottom up. It’s easier to move an entire company when it comes from the top down. In almost every communication, executives need to explain how this effects customers. When someone is making a proposal to them, many questions should be around the impact to the customer.
From the bottom up, it is one person at a time. YOU have to care about customers in your role. It will make YOU more effective. Maybe others will see your success and you can share what you do. Maybe you will get promoted and you can work with your team to get them focused on customers.
Your company exists to create value for a set of customers. The company captures a portion of that value in revenue, hopefully resulting in profit. Create value for customers. Yet every employee creates or destroys value. Shouldn’t every employee focus on how they can create more value?