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August - 2009 - issue > In My Opinion

Customer-centrism: The Power of Deliberate Design

R Chandrasekaran
Saturday, August 1, 2009
R Chandrasekaran
It’s always been appropriate for businesses worldwide to wax eloquent about the value of customer-centrism. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi’s note on the value of the customer is pervasive in corporate literature. Likewise, it is extremely ‘in’ to quote management gurus on the value of the customer and the power of the customer-centric model.

Amid all the sound and fury on what would otherwise seem obvious, there is a bunch of deeper dynamics that demands the highest realization of ‘customer-centrism’. ‘Deliberate design’ often decides the level of customer-centrism and the quality of the business value harvested from the model.

'Deliberate design’ can be defined as the conscious weaving-in of customer-centric attributes into the core of the organization’s DNA, strategy, and processes; an environment that builds an ecosystem with the customer at the core.

While alternative opportunistic strategies have yielded results for many, it is appropriate to reckon them as providential. A customer-centric strategy of ‘deliberate design’ has been consistently observed to be more robust and sustainable — extremely viable for both the long as well as the short term. The emergence of contemporary customer-centric thinking on ideas such as the extended enterprise, customer-analytics, customer-centric innovation, and customer-built product and service portfolios are increasingly auguring a very different perspective on how businesses operate, respond, or innovate in a customer-centric milieu.

Customer-centrism as a ‘deliberate design’ operates on three essential support elements:
1. Customer-centric strategy

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