You are probably familiar with those meeting marathons which are meant to discuss strategy or to get a common understanding how to ideally realise a project. Have you ever calculated how much money your company spends on decision-making or on finding trade-offs? I assume we’re talking about a considerable amount of money. If you agree, this article will give you some inspiration on how to save your valuable time by using client-centric methodologies.

Tags: , 2.1 Min. LesezeitZuletzt aktualisiert: 16. April 2021

First and foremost, client centricity is a mindset. The underlying principle is to put your client in the centre of your entrepreneurial decision making. So, unfortunately, it is not a set of rules that can be implemented instantly, but a continuous improvement process of your value chain and business model.

To adopt the mindset and to get an idea how to implement client-centricity into your daily business, there is an easy way to start which I will introduce to you in this article.

Ask your client instead of discussing client problems internally

So many internal meeting hours are spent on discussing internally what clients want. So, the first step of your journey towards client centricity is to end those meetings.

The next time you notice that you are talking about hypothetical client needs, change the direction of the discussion. Your meeting goal now is to write down those hypotheses and to setup a very short interview guide to validate those hypotheses. Although marketing gurus insist that market research requires a lot of in-depth knowledge on how to design THE perfect survey, it is absolutely ok to do your surveys without this in-depth expertise. Just stick to these three rules:

As is often the case in life, less is more. Don’t ask too many questions! Instead, define key hypotheses you want to validate. E.g. “Our clients are willing to pay for additional service XYZ” and write down as few questions as possible to validate these hypotheses.
The point of putting your client into the centre of your entrepreneurial decision-making is not to convince them that your company is the best. It is all about exploring your client’s needs and how to fulfil them relevantly. Avoid suggestive questions! Always.
Perhaps you read topic 1.) and thought “Easy, the question is: are you willing to pay for the service XYZ?”. Well, this is a closed question and does not to help you explore your clients needs to challenge your hypotheses. Always try to use open questions! In this case, our question might be phrased as “Think of services you use and you pay for. Why are you willing to pay for them?”

The next step is to identify five clients for your mini-survey and to just ask them. This can be done without any effort, especially for specific hypotheses. Just pick up the phone or ask your questions as part of your normal client communications. That’s it. A very easy first step towards client centricity!

Autor

Heike Rehm
Head of Strategy & Innovation, Managing Director bei Unterschied & Macher. Sie möchten Prozesse digitalisieren oder innovative digitale Lösungen entwickeln? Dann sollten wir uns kennenlernen.
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