What do we mean by customer focus, and how can we deliver better experiences for our customers?

This video was developed by 3rdView Consulting, in collaboration with National Disability Services, for the NDIS Sector Readiness and Workforce Capacity Initiative.


Customer focus is all about relevance and sustainability. Successful organizations understand what's relevant to their customers. They understand their wants and needs. To sustain that success over time, organisations need to continually monitor changes in their customer needs and adapt accordingly.

Internally focused organisations risk losing touch with what their customerss’ values and losing relevance within the marketplace.

So what exactly is customer focus?

Customer focus is a way of doing business where every action is informed by the needs of customers.

Customer-focused businesses seek to balance the commercial realities of their industry with a constant desire to improve the experiences that they offer.

Who do we mean when we say ‘customer’?

The obvious answer is the user or purchaser of a product or service but from a customer-focused perspective we think much more broadly and include employees and referrers, and a range of other stakeholders. By working in this way all stakeholders have a positive experience as processes and systems meet their needs.

What defines a customer-focused organisation?

When we look at customer focus in an organisation there are four elements that we're looking for. The first one is strategy, vision and brand. Next is leadership. Then there is the extent to which that organisation is connected with its customers, and finally there's employee engagement.

So looking at strategy, vision and brand: a customer-focused organisation puts the customer at the core of their strategy, vision and brand their reason for being is informed by the needs of the customer and it's articulated in custom terms.

The way leaders speak and behave says a lot about an organisation in customer-focused organizations, leaders actively demonstrate their commitment to customers on a day-to-day basis. These organisations make a habit of sharing customer stories and their systems and processes are designed to deliver on customer commitments.

As you can imagine the customer experience is a key indicator of customer focus. Customer-focused organisations involve and engage the customer in the design of their products and services. They seek to develop a deep understanding of the customers' unique needs. They critically evaluate the experiences they're offering and seek to improve, and they constantly seek and share feedback. 

In order to deliver a great customer experience, your people must be on board. A customer-focused organization actively encourages all their people to engage with the customer, they organize themselves to ensure a focus on customers and they recruit people who are passionate about their customers.

Customer-focused organizations recognize and reward their people for their demonstrated commitment to the customer.

Tell us about the Customer Focus program

There are four modules in the program: an introduction; a self-assessment to help you identify where you are on your customer focus journey; a guide to help you understand your customers better; and a module to help you develop strategies to build a customer-focused organization.

How do we start?

Work your way through the customer focus modules. Be objective about your self-assessment and be open minded about how customer focus can help your organization, and remember that no matter how good we are today we can always deliver better experiences for our customers. 

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