Building Customer Centricity and Sensitivity

Bad customer centricity not only impacts the supplier, but the end customer.

 – Sai Kumar Chandran –

Every now and then, someone in an organization brings up customer centricity or sensitivity. This conversation invariably comes-up when there has been a negative customer advocacy, or a key account / customer churn or great sales year but lesser net adds etc. Or it comes-up when a competitor is going all out on this area, creating a brand differentiation. In some sectors, this is also becoming a natural next step to gravitate towards once the brand has some traction.

  • But should these be the real stimuli for focusing on customer centricity?
  • And is customer centricity about improving negative customer perception or being the next management thing to fix?

The answer is, No. Real customer centricity is about discovering, servicing and engaging customers at every stage of the customer life cycle with an organization, so they not only buy and use – but also buy and build a relationship with the organization.

As prevalent as the familiar sounding conversation staters / starting points of customer centricity are, equally prevalent are a flurry of repetitive responses to customer centricity questions. Creating customer-oriented goals and metrices, making CS the centre of reviews and initiatives, training people – especially customer contact staff, bring in tools and analytics and even creating crack teams to solve customer issues are the common fallback mechanism of most organizations.

But it’s time we asked:

  • Will setting customer-oriented goals create customer impact?
  • Will hard reviews increase customer experience?
  • Will improving language improve customer service?
  • Will increasing meetings improve customer engagement?
  • Will crack teams solve the real problems causing your client the negative experience?
  • Will better tools improve customer usage of products?

The answer is, no, to all. In fact, over reliance on these elements can only increase the amount of stress in the system and yield no tangible benefits to a customer.
Customer centricity or sensitivity becomes an even more prominent catalytic phenomenon, in B2B customer relations, (like with product or service companies) where the impact is experienced at scale. Customer centricity or sensitivity also becomes critical in B2C relationships which have a high cost or criticality attached (like with automobiles or critical care). The criticality here comes not only from the significant negativity brought on by bad customer centricity but the differential gains to be made from having positive customer centricity.

Bad customer centricity not only impacts the supplier, but the end customer. It’s bad for everyone. I am sure you as a reader has had enough experience where you have been at the receiving end of bad customer centricity of companies. In some cases, we have also been on the other side, in organizations that were really not that great in customer centricity. So, I don’t need to talk about the ill-effects of this anymore.

Let shift focus. What is the way to customer centricity or sensitivity? Customer centricity is a culture, of focusing on doing only the best for your customers. This is achieved through an unrelenting focus on customers in the strategy, values, initiatives, tools and methods of the organization. CS is a mindset that needs to be lived by every employee. The answer is in cultivating a mindset and a systemic response comprising of great:

  • Discovery
  • Service
  • Engagement

While I will describe these in detail below: the 3 elements may have nuances based on industry and relationships. I am also using the word customer below, to even represent client or consumer as some industries would call their buyers.

Discovery is the mindset and systemic approach that helps an organization and professionals know the customer. This ‘knowing’ begins at the pre-sales stage and ends there in the traditional paradigm. However, in a customer centricity / sensitivity paradigm, discovery never ends. It starts with:

  • Understanding what the overall customer needs are.
  • Understanding any specific requirements or special needs.
  • It is an assessment of their current state, aspiration, and end-state.
  • A good quality discovery also establishes a customer’s willingness to change, their ability to bear the price and consequence of change is.

However, a progressive discovery not only focuses on finding what will influence the buying decision, but also what will help fulfilment of service and retention of the customer. As the sale, delivery and other customer interactions continue, discovery evolves into the current and changing realities of the customer. It even evaluates the emerging impact of our own product or service, so that the optimum advisory can be offered to the customer at every stage of the relationship. Discovery also can conclude that we as suppliers are not enough or right anymore for the customer. This too is a great outcome of a truly customer centric or sensitive discovery. Discovery also taps into any efforts that did not translate into sales, and circles back the lessons into the organizational approaches / customer touchpoints.

Service is the fulfilment aspect of a customer engagement post sale, as per traditional definition. However, in a customer centricity / sensitivity paradigm service is how we show-up for the customer and evolves with the customer relationship in addition to the traditional definition. It starts-off right at the pre-sales stage and feeds off the discovery pillar’s outcomes. A service mindset and systemic approach of customer centric / sensitive organizations would:

  • Never rush the customer or have an engage-disengage approach towards them.
  • It will pace with the customer while maintaining an optimal connect and flow of information.
  • Optimal service approach assesses the appropriateness of products and services from a customer’s needs, desired outcomes and meaningful impact lenses, rather than what’s best that we have to offer. This aids appropriate discovery in turn.
  • A service mindset also assesses and clarifies what we cannot offer or do.
  • Service effectiveness is clearly in being an advisor right from the beginning for the customer and showing-up in their interest.
  • It is clearly focused on winning trust and advocacy of the customer from initiation.
  • It is also informing, connecting, or directing the customer in the right direction, even if it away from us or our offerings.

Thereafter, a progressive service mindset, delivers on all commitments. Whether a product is delivered or services are rendered, a Service Mindset is aimed at quality and timeliness in providing what the customer needs. A service mindset in an organization, helps the system run to deliver quality and error free products and services to the customer repeatedly. Such a mindset also, shows-up as responsible and responsive, and taking the ownership of fixing any issues that the customer is facing. Service also, stays in sync with discovery to shape what is being delivered, when and how, if the requirements that were contracted change.

Engagement, in the traditional sense means meetings, influencer connects, SME touchpoints etc. However, in a customer centric / sensitive approach, engagement is a spirit and approach that shapes the entire narrative for the customer and in the customer’s mind. Engagement ensures:

  • Discovery is not mechanical, and service is not a check in the box.
  • It helps the customer to be themselves and not resort to deflections and delays.
  • It creates respect and space for the customer throughout a relationship.
  • Engagement validates and measures the quality of discovery and service all through-out.
  • Through measurements and validation, it develops a picture of what the client is believing and wants or needs more from the relationship.
  • Engagement also makes the customer express how they are viewing us – the service or product provider.

Engagement is mostly continuous meaningful conversations, but it is also an experience provided to the customer through accessible tools, relevant forums and transparent processes. Engagement also gives control in the hands of the customer for those things which they can control and would also give them the confidence in the relationship.

It is through an optimised triangulation of discovery – service – engagement that a customer experiences customer centricity and sensitivity. It is when a customer says we are customer centricity and sensitivity, that we become so, not by us claiming that we are. The fabric of an organization, its collective mindset and systems are designed deliberately to get this impact. There is no other way to get there. This is an effort worth making and all organizations should – not because it is one of the good things, but because it makes basic business sense. Success in this area, brings the customer closer to an organisation and keeps them close.

The journey to get here, starts with the vision and values of the organization. There after it needs to percolate into strategy and initiatives, till every individual is working at highest standards of customer centricity. It does take a few years to get there, just like an culture change does.

Sai Kumar Chandran is the founder of OrbitShift. He is a coaching and consulting practitioner and an entrepreneur at heart. He can be reached at

138 thoughts on “Building Customer Centricity and Sensitivity”

  1. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100 certain. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  2. I’m not sure exactly why but this site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  3. I was just searching for this information for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative web sites in top of the list. Normally the top web sites are full of garbage.

  4. I simply had to appreciate you once more. I’m not certain the things I would’ve carried out in the absence of the entire secrets shown by you about my subject. Certainly was an absolute terrifying situation for me personally, but witnessing the very expert approach you treated it forced me to jump over fulfillment. Now i am happier for your assistance and then expect you comprehend what a great job you’re doing training some other people with the aid of your webblog. I’m certain you haven’t come across all of us.

  5. I simply had to thank you so much all over again. I do not know what I would’ve implemented without those methods discussed by you regarding this area of interest. Completely was an absolute difficult condition in my position, but witnessing the very specialized manner you processed it made me to cry over fulfillment. I will be grateful for this guidance and thus hope you realize what a great job that you are doing teaching most people thru your websites. Probably you haven’t encountered all of us.

  6. Great article and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you guys have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  7. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So nice to find any person with some unique thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with somewhat originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  8. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  9. Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  11. I feel this is one of the such a lot vital information for me. And i am satisfied studying your article. But want to statement on some common issues, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is actually nice : D. Good job, cheers

  12. Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you Nonetheless I’m experiencing problem with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical rss drawback? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  13. Howdy would you mind letting me know which web host you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a reasonable price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  14. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours as of late, yet I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is pretty value enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the internet shall be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  15. Admiring the time and effort you put into your site and in depth information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  16. Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  17. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossips and net and this is really frustrating. A good site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  18. Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is simply cool and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  19. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site. You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  20. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  21. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome website!

  22. Thanks a lot for providing individuals with remarkably terrific opportunity to read critical reviews from this web site. It can be very superb plus packed with a good time for me personally and my office mates to search your site a minimum of three times a week to learn the new items you have. Not to mention, I’m so actually fulfilled concerning the exceptional opinions you give. Certain two ideas in this post are undeniably the simplest we’ve had.

  23. Great weblog right here! Additionally your web site so much up very fast! What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your affiliate link to your host? I desire my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  24. I have recently started a web site, the info you provide on this web site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  25. Its such as you read my mind! You appear to grasp a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you could do with a few to drive the message home a bit, however instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  26. You could definitely see your skills in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart. “Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was.” by Margaret Mitchell.

  27. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  28. Hi there, simply became alert to your weblog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate when you proceed this in future. A lot of people might be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  29. Good post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!

  30. I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I?¦ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

  31. Great ?V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

  32. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  33. Aw, this was a very nice post. In thought I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and under no circumstances appear to get one thing done.

  34. Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get one thing done.

  35. whoah this blog is excellent i really like reading your articles. Keep up the great paintings! You recognize, a lot of people are searching around for this information, you can help them greatly.

  36. That is the best weblog for anybody who needs to find out about this topic. You realize a lot its virtually laborious to argue with you (not that I actually would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!

  37. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  38. I just wanted to make a message in order to say thanks to you for these amazing tips and hints you are writing on this site. My extensive internet lookup has finally been recognized with reasonable tips to talk about with my family and friends. I would declare that many of us site visitors are extremely fortunate to exist in a fine place with many perfect individuals with valuable guidelines. I feel quite lucky to have used your web site and look forward to some more cool minutes reading here. Thanks again for everything.

  39. Can I just say what a relief to search out someone who truly is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You positively know how you can carry an issue to mild and make it important. Extra folks have to learn this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant believe youre no more standard because you definitely have the gift.

  40. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So nice to search out any person with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality. useful job for bringing something new to the web!

  41. This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  42. Pretty element of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually loved account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I fulfillment you get admission to persistently fast.

  43. I’m usually to running a blog and i actually appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and hold checking for new information.

  44. What i don’t understood is actually how you are not actually much more neatly-preferred than you may be now. You are so intelligent. You understand therefore considerably in relation to this subject, made me for my part imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated unless it¦s one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs great. At all times handle it up!

  45. I believe this web site contains some rattling good information for everyone. “I have learned to use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest caution.” by Wernher von Braun.

  46. I haven’t checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  47. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. That is a very smartly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  48. Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am impressed! Very helpful info specially the final part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I used to be looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  49. Great weblog right here! Also your site so much up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink for your host? I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  50. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; many of us have created some nice practices and we are looking to exchange methods with others, why not shoot me an email if interested.

  51. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  52. Thanks, I’ve recently been looking for information about this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I have found out till now. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?

  53. you are in reality a just right webmaster. The web site loading pace is amazing. It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have done a magnificent process on this topic!

  54. I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to reach my goals. I definitely love reading everything that is written on your site.Keep the information coming. I loved it!

  55. I conceive this web site contains some rattling fantastic information for everyone :D. “Morality, like art, means a drawing a line someplace.” by Oscar Wilde.

  56. Some really great info , Glad I noticed this. “It’s not only the most difficult thing to know one’s self, but the most inconvenient.” by Josh Billings.

  57. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is actually annoying. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  58. Some truly good posts on this site, thanks for contribution. “I finally know what distinguishes man from other beasts financial worries. – Journals” by Jules Renard.

  59. أكبر شركة لانتاج أنابيب البولي ايثيلين و يو بي سي ومستلزماتها للمنتجات الصناعية في عيراق

  60. I don’t even know how I ended up right here, but I assumed this submit was great. I do not know who you’re however definitely you are going to a well-known blogger when you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  61. Great – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task.

  62. certainly like your web-site but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth on the other hand I will definitely come back again.

  63. Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Thank you

  64. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i’m happy to convey that I have a very good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to don’t forget this web site and give it a glance regularly.

  65. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You should continue your writing. I am confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  66. What i don’t realize is actually how you are no longer actually a lot more neatly-appreciated than you might be now. You are very intelligent. You understand therefore significantly on the subject of this topic, produced me personally imagine it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women aren’t interested until it’s something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. All the time take care of it up!

  67. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Exceptional work!

  68. I’ve learn some excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you place to create this kind of magnificent informative web site.

  69. What i do not realize is actually how you are not really much more smartly-preferred than you might be right now. You are very intelligent. You know thus considerably relating to this topic, made me individually imagine it from numerous various angles. Its like men and women are not interested unless it?¦s one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

  70. It?¦s really a cool and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top