Building a customer first culture labelled as the toughest CX challenge

Research from CX Network reveals that CX practitioners are still struggling to create a culture where the customer is at the heart of the company

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Adam Muspratt

image of business people working on a customer-centric culture

In the Global State of Customer Experience (CX) 2019 report, building a customer first culture emerged as the top CX challenge according to the 220 industry practitioners surveyed. 

Customer-centric cultures

This marked the fourth year running that building a customer centric culture appeared in the top three CX challenges. This category was followed by linking ROI to CX initiatives, balancing competing priorities and dismantling siloed customer data.

Many legacy organizations are setup to be profit focused and so struggle to progress to a customer focused mindset. While profits are vitally important, an obsessive focus risks taking brands down the wrong path, one that distances them from providing the most value to customers, says Fred Reichheld the founder of the NPS system. “Our companies are basically set up to be profit focused. Not that profits are bad. Profits are like breathing in my mind, you can’t live without breathing. But breathing is not your objective in life. If you make [profits] your purpose you will go down the wrong path.” 

On why companies should care about building a customer first culture, Reichheld simply said: “Well if you want to grow your business profitably there is no alternative.

"Twenty years ago, thirty years ago, maybe there was. Financial capitalism. It was a different world. The voice of the customer was less available. So you could fudge things through advertising campaigns as opposed to the truth of the word of mouth. But today, I can’t think of a big industry where the Net Promoter, i.e. the customer-focused leader, is not crushing the competition.”

It is up to CX practitioners to present this big picture discipline to the rest of the organization and argue the huge gains that can be made by putting the customer and the heart of every decision.

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This can be done in a myriad of ways including, the circulation of survey results and customer comments and social feedback to the organization. It is vital to highlight both the good and bad. It is about laying bare how customers truly feel about the brand and highlighting how the customer journey can have a huge impact on KPIs. By doing this, practitioners can humanize the customer while making the results of CX seem more tangible for C-level stakeholders who are often disassociated from the customer experience. 

Be sure to check out the full report for more insights on building a customer centric culture, including analysis on other core challenges such as the removal of data silos and the inability to link CX to ROI.