How are customer-driven companies different from product-driven companies?

I have worked with over 20 companies on customer experience. Often, it does not take me more than a couple of initial conversations with the management and key stakeholders to map whether companies are mainly product- or customer-driven.

Product-driven companies typically focus on product features and price. Conversation is dominated by these two things. Product quality and price are seen as the key influencers for high or low customer satisfaction. Customer surveys may include detailed questions about products features and quality. KPIs are set on product quality. Customer churn is linked to price or poor product performance. Investments are made in product design. There is a lot of fear that someone will come and copy the product with a lower price. Commodity trap is seen as a potential risk but there does not seem to be enough means how to avoid that.

Customer-driven companies start the discussion on customer. Customer goals and needs are actively mapped and taking into account in decision making. Conversation happens around customer value. Customer value is the key driver for internal process, product, offering etc. improvements. Customer experience is systematically developed and there are strategies in place how to manage the experience along customer journey. KPIs are set on customer experience. Customer surveys evaluate how well company has succeeded in delivering customer value. Customers are actively involved in designing of new product or services. Product design starts from the customer. Investments are made on customer success and operations.

Every company can become more customer-centric. The first step can be to change the conversation from products to customer by bringing customer perspective in the discussion.


%d bloggers like this: