Customer Centricity : The X Factors

Michaël Renotte I 10:49 am, 11th October

Introduced by John Psaila, Managing Partner of Deloitte Luxembourg, and moderated by Sarah Khabirpour, the 10th edition of Deloitte's Horizon conference was held on September 28 in a hybrid mode. In 2022, Deloitte will offer its event a brand new format. In the meantime, this year's phygital event gathered 50 onsite attendees and 250 online participants. This paper is the third of a series of four, and it focuses on Nancy Rademaker's intervention at the conference.

Nancy Rademaker, a specialist in the impact of digital on customer behavior, explained to the audience how Customer Centricity and focusing on Customer Experience (CX) is essential to acquire and retain customers. 

"73% of executives surveyed last year predicted significant industry disruption in the next 3 years", she stated. And this disruption is coming from three main factors: new technologies, new competition and higher expectations amongst customers. 

Technology has indeed changed the business as we knew it but what is essential to realize, according to Nancy Rademaker, is that it has changed us humans as well. To make her point clearer, she referred to the concept of the 5 I's, 5 characteristics that are either new or have become more prominent because of technology. "We have all become more informed, individualistic, impatient, intuitive, and influenced. These 5 I's, that keep on constantly evolving, must be taken into account when creating a strategy", she said. In view of this, the crucial challenge for any organizations these days is to grand agility a central role. "You can no longer have a rigid strategy with a 5 year plan fixed in stone. Instead, your strategy should become fluid", she advised.

But then, what can we learn from those who disrupt our business models?  The first lesson may seem obvious but is actually very hard to put into practice. "Do not start with the product", said Nancy Rademaker, "but start with the customer and work on improving the quality of the exchanges he has with your company". Customer Experience is a customer's perception of his interaction with any part of an organization, relative to his expectations. CX influences behavior and builds memories. It is the first X factor of Customer Centricity.

The second lesson that we can take from the disrupters is that they make optimal use of the new technologies. AI and algorithms are already in use in the consumer market but also in the legal and banking fields, for instance. While it requires huge amounts of data to make the most and take full advantage of what new technologies have to offer, only 1% of industrial data is being used today. "But if we manage to harness the huge opportunities brought by the use of technology and combine them with the 5 I's, we can turn these five characteristics into formidable levers for a better customer experience", she said.

The X factor is not only about the customer. An equal focus on Employee Experience (EX) will distinguish great companies from average ones. "CX and EX should go hand in glove for organizations to be successful and this requires a drastic cultural change. One in which processes and procedures need to be rethought from scratch, and where leadership and organizational structure need a thorough make-over", advised Nancy Rademaker. Every customer-centric company will need to make the journey from CX to EX and back. "If you provide a better Employee Experience, you will have more motivated employees who in turn will offer better Customer Experience, leading to more satisfied customers who tend to be more loyal and thus represent the economic value of your company", she concluded.

Michaël Renotte

Photo: Nelson Coelho/Deloitte Luxembourg

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