Every organisation strives to be more customer-centric — it’s the go-to of the 21st century and incredibly important if you want your business to be successful and well-regarded. Unfortunately, all too often organisations get part way there and stop — through lack of time, resources, drive, or a combination of all three.
To truly be customer-centric, organisations must put their customers at the centre of everything they do culturally, organisationally, and systemically. This is a big shift for some organisations, and it’s not hard to see why some might fail. But it’s something we here at Agilyx Group have made our mainstay and we’d love to help you understand how you can too.
We sat down with our global director of delivery, Terence Wood, to discuss the ways he places customer centricity at the heart of our delivery model.
Your title is Global Director of Delivery. What does that mean you do at Agilyx Group?
Agilyx is a digital transformation and change-ready specialist organisation. We deliver business transformations for organisations across the globe through the implementation of leading-edge enterprise resource, professional services, financial and project management, and HR solutions.
As Global Director of Delivery, it’s my job to empower my team to deliver what the customer needs, when they need it and at a high level. My team are incredibly skilled and experienced global consulting and project management experts. By enabling them to bring their knowledge and innovation to the table every day, and by ensuring they always have the tools to achieve what they need, Agilyx ensures our customers get the best service possible from us first time every time.
How important is customer centricity to the Agilyx Delivery team?
The customer is at the core of what we do as a global project delivery team. It’s the main ingredient to our formula of project delivery success and the main reason for our client satisfaction scores.
Being people focused means we place a lot of weight on understanding our customers’ objectives and requirements — both business and personal — and ensuring we address those in the best way possible through our advice, consultancy, products and services. That’s our North Star in everything we do; it's how we achieve improved outcomes for our customers and meet our organisational purpose of building better organisations by empowering people at work to be their best.
What are the foundations of customer success?
To drive customer success, you must understand who the customer is — their pulse and what they need. What problems are they facing? What factors influence these problems? What are they trying to achieve as a business through the delivered solution? What type of engagement do they like and how do they want their project updated on and managed?
It’s not enough to know all this, though. You need a way to easily collect customer data and insights, access them, and share them as necessary. Getting this right means everyone on the project, no matter their role, can make decisions and take actions that work towards benefiting the customer’s needs and their end-goals. That understanding must then be supported by a well-structured and clear channel of communication (which comes back, again, to understanding what your customer wants and how they want to be communicated with).
Lastly, it’s about having a technology platform that enables you to achieve for the customer in an automated and seamless manner. It’s critical to have a standard platform for anyone working with a customer to ensure there is consistency of experience and delivery. This is also a place to share and collaborate — to help drive consistency and engagement with dynamic context sharing.
If you get all this right, your customer will see value in every interaction they have with you. You will be a valued partner to them, not simply a group of contractors, and they will want to keep engaging with you
What’s one initiative you have to make sure these aspirations translate globally across all Agilyx Group’s projects?
We live in an age of global digital transformations and experiences. If we want to achieve for our customers then it’s imperative we transform the way they engage with us, their vendors, and our partners and build benefits for them in this new way of working. We do this by providing a trusted platform where customers can communicate across these relationships freely and in their own time. This experience provides insight into actions, self-service capabilities, and allows for smooth transitional handovers. We also augment these support experiences with our global team, so we are able help the customer with whatever the customer needs to do at the time they need it.
What are some of obstacles that you’ve encountered moving towards a customer-centric approach?
Managing expectations and maintaining trust at all levels within the project team can be a challenge. To build a customer-centric environment, we must understand the customer (who they are, what they need, and their environment) and the customer also needs to learn to trust us as an advisor. Agilyx Group are specialists in digital transformations and our solution set, however each customer team and environment is different and has its own unique and exciting complexities.
As much as we implement world class business value technologies and solutions, it is people that are truly at the heart of it all. It takes time to understand the customer, the environment, the rhythm and pulse and their individualities as an organisation – investing in this understanding is what Agilyx does and does it well.
What is your biggest lesson in successfully delivery significant transformation initiatives?
To start, transformation is a journey — it doesn’t happen overnight or by the flick of a switch. A transformation starts by all involved embracing the opportunity of change, closely followed by implementing and setting up the enablement tools, functions, features and processes so the journey has the foundation to commence.
The best lesson for companies undergoing transformation is to embrace that journey, including all of the features of the solution, and all the possibilities for continues improvement as the transformation journey unfolds. It can be scary for some but if you embrace the process that fear will change into excitement.