In 2008, as part of the Supply Chain Risk Consulting practice at Marsh, I led a research project commissioned by a major client to define the term “customer centricity.” For the report (which you can download here) we interviewed a number of Fortune 100 companies with a goal answering a couple of key questions (which I have summarized below):
First, how do you define customer-centricity? Customer centricity, in the simplest terms, means putting the customer and their expectations at the center of the business model and aligning the rest of the business processes around this core constituent. While this is an intuitively simple definition, putting this into practice is much more challenging because when customer expectations change (i.e., when the center moves), the ring which represent the core business processes have to be realigned in a timely manner. Not surprisingly, the larger the business, the greater the inertia that impedes that realignment.