Welcome back to the second article of this series (you can find the first one here) on how to redesign an organization.
This time we will focus on “the customer side”, because even if you don’t think you deal with customers, you do: the customers are not only those outside your company, but also the one inside.
A good understanding of customers (internal or external) is vital because:
- No organization lives as an autonomous island.
- A thorough understanding of customer (and their needs) will enable clients to develop strategies that are consistent with both sides of the medal
Generally speaking, your understanding need to focus on getting the point that are relevant for your customers, not for you, in order to develop an organization that includes also this view.
A set of clues to better understand your customers can be to provide the answers to the following questions:
- How can the organization better serve customers:
- Which customers are my customers and how I deal with them
- What are the specific characteristics or shared ones of this organisations
- How do I address currently and in an ideal world the services that my organization delivers?
- How can the organization can optimize resources to deliver the services without loosing quality?
- What is the level of satisfaction of my current customers?
- What is the level of fulfillment of services compared to what I am supposed to deliver (over/under delivery)
- How does organization and customer compare toward similar best practices in markets?
Once that you have this high level answers is time to go through a structured approach, that has many touch-points with a market analysis, although, once again, does not apply only toward external.
Understand and document:
- Analyze existing customers you are serving and analyze performance over time, also including and tracking changes.
- Define specific characteristics of each customer and define the common ground (e.g. if you are a finance department you may serve invoicing to various departments, but with common parts and specific ones
- Analyze the level of customer awareness and frequency of use for services you deliver
- Identify what customer needs from your organization and prioritize (i.e. there can be services really needed or services that are received by you simply because of an historical heritage)
- Determine customer perception of the organization’s services, also understanding the “triggers for happiness” of your customers
- Understand objectively the performance of your organization toward each customer, noting pitfalls and successes
All of this will be one of the building blocks in order to redefine efficiently your organization.
Next to come are some financial aspects.
- Measuring Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, Third Edition: Survey Design, Use, and Statistical Analysis Methods; Bob E. Hayes (Amazon)
- Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) ; Verne Harnish (Amazon)
- Critical Analysis of Organizations: Theory, Practice, Revitalization ; Catherine Joan Casey (Amazon)
(Image by Gisela Royo)