Book Review: The Customer-Centric Blueprint

Book Review: Doug Leather’s The Customer Centric Blueprint

The Customer-Centric Blueprint BookIn Doug Leather’s book, The Customer-Centric Blueprint, we are reminded of the importance of focusing on our customers. Leather says, “The key to competitive advantage today is to focus on customers in order to grow the value of the customer base.”  Whether you sell products or services, it is important to remember that you are selling to people.  This book is a helpful guide on how to understand and implement customer-centricity.

Here are 10 take-aways from The Customer Centric Blueprint:

  1. As part of the rapid transformation that our world is going through, your customers are becoming more powerful and demanding. Adopting a customer-centric business model is a way to ensure a competitive edge.
  2. “One of the most important questions of our current time is: ‘How do we stay relevant in this uncertain and changing world?'”
  3. The cornerstone of the customer-centric business model is the concept of the “outside-in” company, one that views the world through the lens of the customer and then is able to effectively interact with the customer to meet his or her needs.
  4. From a systems-thinking perspective, it is important to utilize customer management in a way that develops “interconnectivity across all the areas of the business that touch upon and affect the customer.”
  5. “The customer-centric approach to measurement would not be complete without connecting those specific operational measures to employee engagement which, in turn, creates customer engagement and ultimately profitability through your key value drivers.”
  6. Earned media measures – likes, comments, and shares – should be measured so you are able to understand where customers are amplifying your brand message.
  7. “While impressions are directly linked to the efforts you have made to put content in front of people, expressions are a much more powerful measurement of the extent of your customer engagement.”
  8. Customer-centrictiy as a business model means finding new ways to create, deliver, and capture value.
  9. Implementing a customer-centric approach is a journey with a starting point, but no clear ending; the model will grow along with your company’s understanding and evolution.
  10. The REAP Customer-Centric Organisation Blueprint (pictured below) is an approach that Dough Leather’s firm, REAP Consulting, developed for strategizing, planning, and operationalizing the future.

We had the opportunity to ask Doug Leather a question based on his work and this book. We’re happy to share his multi-faceted answer with you.

E4T:  What advice would you offer to a company that is interested in shifting to a customer-centric business model, but is also anxious about doing so in a smooth and authentic manner?

Doug Leather: Any business model shift is disruptive. The big challenge for any organisation is to keep the business going – to drive small incremental changes whilst acknowledging and understanding the ultimate disruptive outcome of finding new and unique ways to create, deliver and capture value. If the enterprise is disciplined in its approach, i.e. it builds a deep understanding of its current level of customer-centric capability and is clear about the nature of customer-centricity to which it aspires to in three or four years time, then the transformational programme can be prioritized accordingly. The clarity associated with this understanding of scale of change will certainly facilitate the shift happening in a smooth and authentic manner.

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