You’re sitting in a dimly lit conference room. The meeting is 15 minutes in but it feels like an hour has passed. Having missed your daily Starbucks, your eyelids begin to flutter. Your boss, back from a business trip, talks about becoming a customer-centric organization. He has charts that show improving customer satisfaction levels based on a survey, and the overused cliché count is now in the double digits. The meeting adjourns, people scatter and customer centricity spreads like wildfire!

If having a customer-centric approach was easy, there wouldn’t be hundreds of books on the topic, nor would there be a need for awards like Bearing Point’s Customer Centric DNA Awards, which poll consumers in 11 different categories to determine which companies are best at “making the customer central in all their customer contact.”

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