The MRI tool measures the eight disciplines of a customer culture. These are the behaviors that drive profits for organizations. The eight disciplines, assessed as employee behaviors, are grouped into two categories, External Drivers and Internal Enablers, as shown in the following table.
|Five External Drivers|
Measures the extent to which employees monitor, understand, and act on current customer needs and satisfaction. Read More
|Customer Foresight||Measures the extent to which employees anticipate customer needs, recognize unspoken needs, consider future needs, and take action to satisfy them. Read More|
|Competitor Insight||Measures the extent to which employees monitor, understand, and act on current competitor activities and take action to incorporate these in their actions to improve customer experience. Read More|
|Competitor Foresight||Measures the extent to which employees identify and consider possible future competitors and how they might affect the value that will be offered in the future to ensure success in the market. Read More|
Measures the extent to which employees monitor, understand, and respond to trends in the larger environment. Read More
|Three Internal Enablers|
|Empowerment||Measures the extent to which employees are able to make decisions that are best for the customer without the explicit approval of senior leaders. Read More|
|Cross-Functional Collaboration||Measures the extent to which employees interact and collaborate cross-functionally. This includes behaviors such as spending time with people from other work groups, taking a cross-functional perspective, sharing information, and inviting contributions from others. Read More|
|Strategic Alignment||Is the extent to which employees understand, attend to, and enact the vision, mission, objectives and strategic direction of the company in their day-to-day activities. Read More|
Customer insight comes from a deep understanding of customer needs as well as the drivers of customer behavior at a level well beyond what customers themselves can explain. Some of these needs are easily understood based on what customers tell us. But, to obtain deeper customer insight, you have to ask questions and observe customers in many different ways with disciplined processes. Insight comes from integrating different pieces of information from many parts of your organization and gaining a multifaceted understanding of your customers. It is gained from knowledge of how customers think and act before, during, and after their purchase. It requires knowledge of the whole customer experience and that breadth of knowledge is only possible when everyone in your organization contributes to that understanding.
The customer foresight discipline is ultimately about customer-inspired innovation. It is the extent to which employees anticipate emerging customer needs, recognize unspoken needs, and take action to satisfy them. The ability to act is crucial, and that ability is strongest when it spans organizational boundaries. Foresight focuses on the latent and future needs of both potential customers and future customers. It requires blending a deep understanding of the customer's environment with knowledge of the organization's technical competencies. Many companies try to innovate by asking their customers about future needs. This often falls short when it comes to real breakthrough innovation. Customers cannot typically envision the future, so it's up to your organization to show it to them. This ensures that customer-inspired innovations are aligned with your company's strategy.
Competitor insight is about understanding your current competitors – their competitive intent, their strategies and how they prefer to compete – and gaining insight into what differential value you need to provide to your customers to maintain competitive advantage. An in-depth view of competitors is crucial. Without competitor insight there is often no clear framework or intelligence for making the best decision for customers and for the business.
When competitor insight is shared across an organization, all individuals and teams have an opportunity to evaluate the value they are providing for customers through a competitive lens. When a business has a competitor insight discipline it is able to make decisions more quickly and with more confidence. It can also implement relevant changes with everyone in the business knowing the role they are playing to deliver superior value to customers.
Competitor foresight is about preparing to take action when needed to preempt new competitors entering your market to maintain your competitive advantage. A strong competitor foresight discipline identifies opportunities and fuels innovation that results in revenue growth and successful new products and services that preempt the impacts of new competitors. It is a future-oriented discipline. An in-depth view of emerging competitors is central to understanding future competitive threats. Competitor foresight is a capability that enables a company to really understand what impact emerging competitors are likely to have and position itself for success.
In a world of rapid change where new competitors emerge and can grow rapidly without warning, it is not possible to preempt or counteract their impact on your future unless competitor foresight is built in as a cultural discipline across the business. This type of foresight on emerging competitors can come from anywhere in the organization, that is why competitor foresight is a cultural discipline. Competitive pre-emption usually requires many people in different functions to be involved to effectively make the changes needed.
Peripheral vision is the extent to which employees monitor, predict, and make decisions based on emerging trends in the business environment that have the potential to impact future customer needs. This discipline gives leaders and teams a deep and dynamic understanding of their broader external environment. Without it there is the potential for missed opportunities and the loss of customers due to market and industry shifts.
Strength in this discipline gives companies the ability to innovate and shift emphasis to create and deliver new products and services. This capability goes beyond just recognizing the shifts that will occur. It must also include the ability to effectively respond at the appropriate time. It means building in a discipline that creates a shared vision of what is unfolding in the marketplace of the future and an adaptability across the entire organization to shift from what is being done now to focus on changed priorities. Many companies have the vision to identify market shifts but few have the customer culture that gives them the capability to transform effectively.
Empowerment is the extent to which employees are able to make decisions that are best for the customer without the explicit approval of senior leaders. It enables employees to freely propose new ideas to benefit the customer, influence others and control the way their work is performed. This discipline is vital to the successful delivery of value to customers and superior customer experiences. Empowerment enables an organization to leverage its resources and advantages across the business and enables employees to take initiatives to solve customer problems and enhance the value they receive. Without strong empowerment within an organization, decisions to benefit customers are slow, employees are less engaged and duplication and inefficiencies prevail. Strength in empowerment generates customer satisfaction and advocacy, fosters innovation and contributes to new product and service success.
Cross-functional collaboration is the extent to which employees interact, share information, and work with colleagues from other work groups and assist them; with a focus on creating value for customers. This discipline is critical to the successful delivery of value for customers. Information, insight, and requests from customers must be shared across work groups and functions in order for customer-centricity and value to be created. Without strong collaboration within a business, valuable information is squandered and business opportunities are lost.
Effective collaboration can have a substantial impact on innovation, competitiveness and customer value creation if it is directed towards sharing across the entire business a deep understanding of customers, competitors and the changing market environment. This will strengthen an organization's customer culture, and that in turn will drive future growth and profitability.
Strategic alignment is a discipline that enables a strong customer culture and makes it possible for the company to create and deliver value for customers and shareholders. Without strong alignment within a business, there are inefficiencies that impact customers, and a lack of employee engagement that affects both business performance and customer satisfaction.
Strategic alignment is critical to a successful focus toward customers. In order to make the most of value creation efforts, groups must align these efforts with the strategy of the organization. Strategy must not only be known and understood by employees but also actively aligned to as well. Groups with strong strategic alignment discuss company strategy; align with its goals and objectives; eliminate non-value creating activities and projects that do not align; and quickly adjust when strategy changes.