My new book is ultimately about how to develop a customer-centric culture by bringing the customer and her voice into the organization.

I was honored to recently join Shep Hyken on his Amazing Business Radio podcast to talk about my book. It was my third time on the show, and each time we talk we seem to build on our previous conversations. Since I had talked about the premise of my book — before it was the book — during my second appearance on the podcast, we evolved our third conversation to include not only customer understanding and some insights from the book but also a deeper dive into customer-centricity and the role of employees and the employee experience. I’d be honored if you’d listen to the show.

We talked a bit about customer understanding and how it is the cornerstone of customer-centricity. Customer-centric companies ensure that they make no decisions, design no products and services, and implement no processes — or as I like to say in short, “No discussions, no decisions, no designs” — without first thinking of the customer and the impact that those have on the customer. They first ask, “How will this impact the customer? How will it make her feel? Will this help her solve her problems?”

As you know, without customers, you have no business. It’s all about the customer. But you won’t have customers if you don’t have employees to build, to sell, and to service the things that customers buy.

In order to have happy, loyal customers, you have to care for your employees and treat them well. Without employees, you have no customer experience! At the end of the day, your business focus has to be on the people who drive your business—both employees and customers (and vendors, partners, etc.). There can be no customer-centric culture without focusing on your employees first. So, really, it’s all about the people; perhaps to simplify this we should just refer to it as a people-centric culture.

For more of my thoughts on what it takes to build and to sustain a customer-centric culture, check out this on-demand CXPA webinar recorded for CX Day 2019 (October 1, 2019). It’s very timely, for sure.

First we build people, then we build cars. -Fujio Cho

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. She recently published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.

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