Customer-centric behaviours for the future - Customer & buyer understanding

by Marty Nicholas

Organisations have recognised that customer dynamics are changing at an incredible rate, fuelled by the rapid pace of digital evolution. Our previous blog post introduced 7 key customer-centric behaviours Blackdot has identified in our work helping organisations transform their people to better support digital go-to-market models . These behaviours are key areas where organisations can focus their energy to build capability in their frontline customer-facing roles, to better equip them in serving today’s digitally empowered customer. This blog will be part of a broader series, covering the first of 7 key customer-centric behaviours – customer & buyer understanding.

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Why customer & buyer understanding is an important frontline behaviour

In a digitally empowered, customer-led environment, organisations will need to move from an ‘inside-out’, product-led selling focus to an ‘outside-in’ approach. This shift requires them to have a deep understanding of their customers – tailoring their approach and offerings accordingly. At Blackdot, we’ve observed that successful frontline teams exhibit the following behaviours when demonstrating customer & buyer understanding.

What does good look like for the frontline?

1. Recognising target customer segments

Most organisations acknowledge that segmentation is a key component of a successful customer strategy, and access to an increasing volume of data has led to an abundance of options for doing so. However, once organisations develop more meaningful segments, it is critical for the frontline to use these outputs and operationalise segmentation strategies. This requires a more granular understanding of their customer segments and decision drivers, in order to best tailor their approach to the portfolio.

By recognising target customer segments:

2. Deep understanding of customer personas, decision drivers and needs

While segments aim to group like-customers together, individual customer personas highlight common traits, such as behavioural patterns, goals, motivations and purchasing obstacles. Having a robust understanding of these unique customer personas, decision drivers and needs, is truly powerful – giving the frontline the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of competing priorities, critical challenges and opportunities. It also enables the team to develop personalised content and campaigns aligned to each persona.

What's next?

As organisations adapt their segmentation strategies to the digitally-empowered customer, it is critical for the frontline to get the best use from these outputs by operationalising these effectively. This requires an upfront investment in developing the above behaviours within the frontline, to ensure a deep understanding of their customers so they can tailor the approach for each segment and persona.

Our next blog will explore the second customer-centric behaviour, data & digital literacy – translating data into relevant insights and executing on these in a meaningful way.

Want to know more about how to better understand customer and buyer behaviours? Download our 'Reorganising Around the Changing Customer' whitepaper.