Are You Really Focused on Your Customer?

As the world grows increasingly commoditized, companies must focus on customers if they hope to differentiate themselves from rivals. But major customer-oriented initiatives have yielded lukewarm results.

One secret to real customer focus is to collect data on every customer transaction, then share insights from the data across your organization. Executives can use the information to serve customers more profitably. For example, when Royal Bank of Canada surveyed 2,000-plus customers, it found they wanted much more than just access and convenience. They wanted their bank to value them as individuals, no matter when and where they did business. RBC's response? Shift resources from building new branches to strengthening customer relationships.

Today's Management Tip of the Day was adapted from the HBR article, "The Quest for Customer Focus," by Ranjay Gulati and James B. Oldroyd

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  September 3, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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