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Customer focused — “born” that way?

Sometimes we are lulled into believing that things are just made a certain way and can’t really be changed.

Are you good at art? Most people will say "no." In fact they may say they are awful, or don’t have an artistic bone in their body. In other words, they believe that artistic talent is something you are born with — you either have it or you don’t.

It’s not true. While some have a natural inclination for such skills, artistic talent can be developed. There is a classic drawing book titled Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. The author Betty Edwards shares loads of examples of ordinary people that learned to draw using her methods.

Sometimes I believe we feel the same way about our companies being customer focused. There is a tone or a feeling that is often hard to describe. Sometimes we call it culture or customer centricity or say it is part of their DNA (a term I’m not fond of — see previous blog). Using these terms make it feel like you either have it or you don’t.

In reality, I think it is an integral system of tactics that really bring focus on the customer. Leadership sets the tone. But after that it’s the nuts and bolts. It’s how companies gather customer insights and put them to use. It’s how they communicate the importance of customer initiatives and engage the enterprise. Its how they make sure the right people have the right information to make customer focused decisions and take action.

Just like the artist that practices, develops their skill, and consistently improves over time, companies need to do all the little things that drive customer focus in their business. The best news — the results will prove all their efforts to be worthwhile.

About the Author

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons

As Principal and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Walker, Gibbons has global responsibility for definition, branding, and promotion of the company and its solutions. Gibbons has published and/or contributed to a number of articles, papers, and blogs on customer intelligence topics and has a regular column in CRM Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences, and has produced a series of educational events for customer experience leaders.

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