In 2011, I perceived a significant shift in customer-centricity in the banking industry. But, not in a good way.
Progress in customer-centricity, to deliver improved value and loyalty, that had been achieved in preceding years was abandoned in favour of extracting every last penny of profit from every customer. Yes, many organizations (and consumers) had suffered following the 2008 global crash, but this ‘company-centric’ approach was not a sustainable solution.
In response, in 2012 I published an eBook ‘The customer pays the bill’ that defended a customer-centric strategy as the solution for long-term growth in customer satisfaction, loyalty and sustained business growth. In the past seven years, I have witnessed that my beliefs and practical concepts have proven themselves in the successful local and global companies that have deployed customer-centric strategies, instead of ‘company-centric’ tactics (these successful customer-centric companies are often called a ‘challenger-something*’ – *insert ‘-bank’, ‘-retailer’, or any business type, as appropriate).
So, why write a new book now? Well, first I have Nath, a colleague in Nigeria that challenged me to take a bolder approach than I had in 2012 and re-publish and promote my ideas that had proven to be successful. Thank you, Nath!
Secondly, the ‘company-centric’ approach was continuing to show signs of being an unsustainable approach for most organizations. According to the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) in July 2019, 11 out of 13 industry sectors have lower customer satisfaction rates than a year ago. What is happening? Are customer experiences getting worse, or are organizations struggling to keep pace with evolving consumer expectations?
Thirdly. Industries and organizations have embarked on massive digital transformations. And I have to question whether they understood their destination. Has the rapid digitization of services worked? Just because banks and other retail organizations have invested vast sums of money, it does not necessarily mean that it is being spent wisely; that it improves business efficiency or that it has a positive impact the customer experience (or value and loyalty!). Research from Couchbase, surveying European heads of digital transformation found that 90 per cent of all digital initiatives fail to meet both business and customer expectations!
This concerns me, and it should concern anyone reading this article. How can it be so?
I’m passionate about customers and believe that customer-centric organizations deliver the best solutions to consumer’s worries, dreams and needs.
Much has changed in the last seven years. And so, with my ‘partner in crime’ Stuart, we started a full revision of the original book to take account of the business and technological changes that have taken place – for good and bad.
I believe that we have a much better practical guide for people, like us, who want their business to be customer-centric.
You can buy the book here.