Everybody agrees that we need to be customer-centric, customer focused and even customer obsessed, says Sirrus Decisions’ Megan Heuer in an excellent post.

Few B2B companies have the organisational and cultural agility necessary to make their customer experiences a genuine differentiator in the market place.

Heuer says that whilst the appointment of an empowered Chief Customer Experience Officer will help, the key is the development of a collaborative model that overcomes the siloed delivery of tactical measures and replaces them with a compelling strategic change for the better.

“In the most successful b-to-b companies, when it comes to helping buyers buy, sales, marketing and product have defined how they’ll align,” Heuer says,

“Alignment and execution are based on what buyers need and do when making a purchase and how each group helps with that. Note that none of these groups insist that they “own” the buyer. They coordinate the role of each group, and each is accountable for its part in delivering growth.

“A similar collaborative model can be developed around the customer experience. Each of the functions plays an important part, and interlock is in place to ensure collaboration. Rather than owning the customer, the focus is alignment around the customer, just as we do for the buyer.”

“A central function for customer experience definition provides insights and a roadmap, and a cross-functional team collectively defines the path to deliver on the strategy.”

A strategic marketing executive with extensive experience delivering business results for Ansell Healthcare, Mercedes-Benz, consultancies and organisations in Australia, Asia and Europe. Leading-edge skills built around the fundamental principle that, in an era of rapid product and service commoditization, the customer experience matters and is a key driver of competitive advantage. Fully cognizant of the need to synchronize processes, business technology and people to ensure that brand promises are mirrored by reinforcing brand actions. Thrives in “can do”, values-driven organisations which are committed to consumer-focused innovation and making a difference by thinking strategically but acting pragmatically. An accomplished, collaborative business leader and communicator with excellent interpersonal and public speaking capabilities. Key strengths: • Building influence across the business • Harnessing emerging customer trends • Thriving on market and technology change • Differentiating the brand experience • Optimizing the marketing and media mix • Creating and nurturing high-performance teams and relationships Specialties Assets and transferable skills include leadership, strategy development, project management, technology utilization, business process improvement, performance metrics and public speaking. Email: mitchell_mackey@hotmail.com