Creating a Culture of Customer Centricity

Customer experience suddenly is king. We hear it in the conferences and we hear it in the boardrooms–never has customer experience been so keenly on the minds of business leaders. Suddenly we see the rise of the CXO (chief experience officer) with newly found mandates—handed down to their internal UX teams–to deliver their roadmaps for excellence. 

Many UX teams work without integrated UX toolsets and collaboration environments like developers did 10 years ago. They work as artisans to deliver user experience without being truly supported by a business culture dedicated to customer centricity.

We’ve worked with a wide range of these teams, and it’s remarkable how dedicated and under-served they are. Inevitably our work becomes a showcase to demonstrate the value of doing customer experience work ‘the right way’. The positive business outcomes from these efforts help the team gain visibility with their business decision makers, with the hope being that ‘user-centered design’ will stick and gain more support. The good news is that a lift is coming from outside now—the trend of customer centricity has swung to the mainstream.

If the mandate has already been handed down in your organization, the question becomes: what does it take to create a culture of customer centricity? How does an enterprise move from a place where the knowledge of the customer is either in the hands of a few, based on opinion, or completely lacking–to a place where the customer perspective is data-driven and shared?

A key ingredient is creating a sustainable culture that embraces user research and persona modeling. For those of us who do UX work for a living, this is second nature to us. We know how ethnographic research uncovers the right depth of insight into our users —the things that drive behavior, conversion, adoption, productivity and satisfaction. We’ve found that when we deliver rich personas early in our client work it invariably has a huge impact across the organization. Making personas visible and collaborative across the enterprise begins the critical exchange required in a culture of customer centricity.

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