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Identify, support and leverage your core asset - your customers
Systematic customer centricity leads to increased top & bottom lines
Concerned with growth and profits, industry leaders spend significant time searching for ways to continually improve. Many understand that a focus on profits alone will not address the long term stability or growth of their company. Most trust that there must be a more elegant or sophisticated method that can be a catalyst for enhanced long-term growth.
A new model - the systematically customer-centric organization - is spreading across all industries; it shifts the focus to the long term value of a customer and the evolving needs of both company and customer and less on current offering(s). Emphasis is placed on the customers' future needs rather than the company's short-term goals. The systematic customer-centric organization model has proven to be an excellent strategy for achieving long term stability and growth by satisfying the supplier's and customers' needs.
But, don't confuse customer service with systematic customer centricity.
Customer service is a microcosm, a subset of the discipline, called systematic customer centricity. Effective systematic-customer centricity requires excellent customer service as a prerequisite. A systematically customer-centric organization provides mutual benefits to the client and the supplier, as it develops a flexible, resilient strategy to support and enhance the customers' and suppliers' long term success as a team (or members of the same industry/ecosystem).
The systematically customer centric POV puts the focus where it's most effective
The systematically customer centric organization strategy is successful because it addresses key problems like global competition and the migration of major accounts. A unique competitive advantage is created for each company that applies this discipline; it facilitates growth from the outside-in. As traditional management teams labor through strategic planning, operations, and risk management in an effort to increase sales of existing goods, systematically customer-centric organizations strengthen their market position by jointly innovating new services and products; this locks customer and company into a stronger, long term relationship.
Southwest Cargo has maintained profitability in every year of its existence (47 as of Jan 2020); they've made a concerted top down effort to systematically understand their customers' long-term ever-changing needs. Likewise, Cisco reshaped its image through the success of their customer centric "Smart Care" program (launched in 2010 when sales were at $41 billion) and has enabled them to grow sales for four consecutive years and then to maintain annual revenue close to $50 billion in the past five years.
Using a few case studies of clients with whom we have worked, we will illustrate how this process delivers greater financial pay-off:
Regardless of the type or size of an industry, building a truly systematically-customer centric organization requires specific expertise in a process of extensive research (some of which is best conducted by independent parties), analysis, and implementation that is uniquely tailored to each business.
- Senior leadership at a global energy company felt the company was capable of much higher profits and faster growth. As with many traditional companies with market longevity, both our client and their customers had grown accustomed to business as usual. We spoke with all of their significant customer relationships, researched the strategies of several of their fastest growing competitors and learned some important internal dynamics from division executives. Analysis revealed an opportunity to realign customer relationships that imagined a new future for their interactions. Customer centric behavior increased our client's short term bottom line by $225M dollars - and paid off very well when the company was subsequently acquired.
- A mid-sized chemical distributor was being seriously challenged by a bigger low-price-focused competitor. Desperate, they initially made the mistake of trying to compete on price. Once we worked through the systematic customer centric process with them and their customers, it was revealed that our client has significant scientific advantage and a technological edge that customers wanted but had been lost in the struggle to compete on price; they were undervalued. We helped them build a joint innovation pipeline with the industries' two largest customers and re-align their product and marketing relationships in a systematic customer centric way. Within 2 years, revenue had increased significantly. After 7 years of systematic customer centric focus, this 50 year old formerly-sluggish company had doubled in size.
- A global contract manufacturer in the electronics industry was on the verge of losing not just their biggest client, but by far the most dominant customer in the market - and didn't know it. Disaster was looming; a string of recent acquisitions blended several teams of traditionally minded executives into a dysfunctional team that lost track of their customer amid the turf wars. Our research revealed they had lost any focus on the customer they had and were about to lose them. We revealed the danger our client was in, inspired a new systematic customer centric focus on their clients' futures that dissolved the internal struggle for our client. Not only did our client not lose their most dominant customer, they came home within 90 days with an additional $29M in business from them, further cementing their re-imagined relationship.
Three major benefits accompany a systematic customer centric model:
Develop your company's systematic customer centric capacity
- The value of every aspect (or viewpoint) of the business relationship increases; from every perspective - the firm's, the customer's, the products/services, and the relationships.
- A process for new ideas, programs, and strategies is established that leads to unique industry products and services which create immediate and future value.
- Profitability and ROI will increase.
Based on its 20-plus year track record of successful client engagements, Beckett Advisors now offers a complete end to end training curriculum for company leaders. Customized for each of our clients, the curriculum is titled, appropriately: "Leading the Systematic Customer Centric Organization."
It has proven sensitive to the needs of senior executives in multi-national companies because it incorporates respect for diversity across cultures.