The Quality Revolution was meant to be customer focused, instead became process centric and one of record keeping. Nonetheless, Total Customer Value Management can learn from the Quality movement. There is much to learn.
From Companystan to Customerstan
Journey of a Customer Value Creation Evangelist: From Companystan to Customerstan
So many articles are written about the Customer and how to make him happier. These articles just tweak the same theme and play the same tune without understanding why true change is not happening. Talk to the customer, be nice to him, give him a good experience in journeys he may not want, unleash CRM in different forms, but basically it is business as usual.
I just finished reading Dick Lees in depth and historical expose of companies in his book, We Are Buyers. You Are Sellers. Youre Busted. He talks about what companies have managed to get away with at the expense of the Customer and the country in the guise of growth and payers of tax and the supporter of big government (in the US he states large companies pay only 17% tax). As the Russians said, the capitalist oligarchy controls these countries.
I believe we live in different spheres and thinking: Companystan (that is the country of Companies) and Customerstan. The philosophy of the Company has been working with Profitstan in a world of Mediocristan. Few like Lee and me wish to visit Extremistan where change is wreaked on, or legislated on companies to move towards Customerstan and report and use Customer data with the same passion as financial and profit data, just as a start.
As companies move from Profitstan and Companystan to Customerstan, they will change and rename the operations department run by a COO to become the Customer Department (incorporating products and product development, employees brought in from Customerstan, all Customer focused work including accounts and finances to do with Customers, manufacture, supply and delivery chain, technology and IT, the ethics department, the shareholder department). Those left out would be routine accounting, tax and treasury, routine HR functions of policing, compliance and record keeping, routine maintenance, corporate social responsibility, government affairs etc. This routine department along with the Customer department will report to the CEO.
So we also need some new definitions for words from Customerstan such as Customeric and Customer responsibility
Customer responsibility: While this can mean many things, in this context it is the responsibility that the company takes for the Customer. So if the company has a bill of rights for the Customer, then it has a responsibility to uphold the rights. Or if they bring out a product, they have a responsibility the product will perform and be repaired if it does not. In an overall sense, the company must feel responsible to the Customer.
Customeric is a word coined to show that a company has the Customer-in-Centre. The Customer is the centre of the companys strategy, its focus. The company is Customer-centric, takes Customer responsibility, measures Customer data and lets Customer thought lead the business.
Then truly will companies migrate from Companystan to Customerstan.
Do you think our Customer movement should force the move from Companystan to Customerstan? Should we concentrate on this than just to get process or system improvements for the Customer? Can Customerstan become a force to reckon with? I desperately need your comments even though you might decide to transport me to Companystan.
Founding Editor, Journal of Creating Value
President - Customer Value Foundation
M: +91 9810060368
Tel: 11-26831226, Fax: 11-26929055
Customer Value Foundation (CVF) helps companies to Create Value and profit by Creating Value for the Customers, employee and for each person working with the companies. Total Customer Value Management (Total CVM) transforms the entire company to focus on Creating Value for the Customer by aligning each person's role in Creating Customer Value and getting shareholder wealth and Value.
I notice more and more that the Customer is taken for granted or allotted a by the way mention in new business strategies. Forbes and many others have written about this and bemoaned the fact, and warned companies not to ignore the customer.
Here is an excellent review on Gautam Mahajan's book on Value Creation written by Colin Shaw, founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker..
In my book, Value Creation: The Definitive Guide for Business Leaders, I added a 4th A (Ability) to what Management gurus talk about in the 3 A’s to ready ourselves for the future
Customers tend to buy or use those products or services that they perceive create greater value for them than competitive offers. It is essential for executives and leaders to create higher value for their Customers than competition can.