Lean Thinking as a Trailblazer for Customer Centricity

What does it say so beautifully? The customer is king. This is not just a proverb that is said to be so. It reflects the values of Customer Centricity and plays the most critical role in a company’s success. Lean Thinking offers an approach to customer centricity. You can find out what important roles these two terms have for companies today in this article.

What is Customer Centricity?

Most former seller markets have long since become buyer markets. This means nothing more than that the customer can regulate the market. Why is that? There are now so many suppliers in the most diverse markets that an oversupply has arisen. This results in a wide range of decision-making options for buyers. This means that you can choose which provider they use a particular product or service from. Here, therefore, the sellers have to adapt to the customer and understand their well-being in the best possible way. This entrepreneurial strategy is called Customer Centricity.

Creating real added value

At Customer Centricity, the customer or user is the focus of the event. The company focuses on the needs and interests of customers in all measures. This should give rise to competitive advantages. Customer Centricity is a holistic, strategic approach. User needs are therefore the starting point for any entrepreneurial activity. Real added value (read also Value Model Canvas) is to be created for the customer. This is not only about fulfilling the existing wishes and needs, but also with a view to the future to find out what the customer would like to have later.

What is the USP?

The USP, i.e. the unique selling point of companies, is sometimes decisive for the purchasing decision of customers. What do customers like better about one product than the other? Meanwhile, in many markets, it has become difficult to produce actual USP’s. This makes the treatment of the customer and the standing of the customer in the company all the more important. If he feels comfortable, this can make a lot of difference and make up for other minor mistakes or minus points. In this sense, a good Customer Centricity can also be regarded as USP.

Customer Centricity Tools and Implementations

There are several tools for Customer Centricity to implement. This includes, for example, loyalty programs that reward customers who are there in the longer term. These rewards may be in the form of rewards, discounts, or gifts. Exclusive clubs are also part of Customer Centricity. Building social media channels is also useful for shaping this philosophy. Posting relevant content that is interesting and useful to the customer can lead to more, or happier, customers. As a result, the relationship with existing customers can be maintained very well.

Lean Thinking – Definition and the Five Principles

Lean Thinking kommt aus dem sogenannten Lean Management. Hierbei sollen Werte für den Kunden geschaffen und dadurch der unternehmerische Erfolg dauerhaft gesichert werden. Click to Tweet
These values are to be created in ever higher quality and by omitting unnecessary ballast. There are the five principles of lean thinking that are now to be presented.

Wie ist die Kundenperspketive ?

Zunächst muss der Kunde und sein Value, also Mehrwert, identifiziert werden. Das heißt nichts anderes, als dass man die Kundenperspektive einnimmt. Welche Aktivitäten und Aufwände, die das Unternehmen tätigt, bieten dem Kunden Mehrwerte? Im zweiten Schritt wird der Value Stream identifiziert. Das bedeutet, dass die Prozesse vom Start bis zum Ende, in dem Werte für den Kunden entstehen identifiziert werden. Im ersten Schritt war die Frage also welche Werte entstehen, jetzt wird analysiertu003cemu003e wieu003c/emu003e diese entstehen.

More value-enhancing activities less “that-we-have-always-done-so”

A flow is then to be created. This is done by consciously avoiding and omitting activities that do not provide any additional value. As a result, only value-enhancing activities crystallize, which means that there are no more interruptions and disturbances – the flow is created. The final step for the time being involves the pull strategy. In doing so, the customer’s needs are actively addressed. The customer is clearly in the foreground when it comes to lean management. It is therefore necessary to understand this and its needs. A process is therefore to be created to respond to these needs. This initiates principles one and three. The corresponding value for the customer is to be increased, while avoiding waste. Once this step is complete, perfection occurs. In itself, the individual steps have been completed, but now it is time to work on fine-tuning. The Lean Thinking Principles are a cycle that is completed until no improvement can be achieved.

This gives the name of Lean Thinking,to German lean thinking. The processes are reduced until only the really necessary ones are available.

In the summary:

1. Value (Which values are relevant to the customer?) ->
2. Value Stream (How/through what steps do I achieve these values?) ->
3. Flow (How do I create the flow by draining what unnecessary ballast?) ->
4. Pull
(listen to the customer and respect his requirements, wishes and values) – > 5. Perfection (cyclic repetition of steps on the way to perfection)

Lean Thinking thus consolidates the idea of customer centricity in companies. The customer and his needs and wishes are the focus of all actions. Strategically, everything is geared towards the customer. This should give rise to competitive advantages and stand out from the competition. Of course, this topic is not applicable to every industry, but it should serve as a food for thought and support the long-running development of many markets from the seller market to the buyer market. If companies are in such a market, Customer Centricity as a corporate philosophy is indispensable. Lean Thinking ultimately offers a good and proven means of putting this philosophy into practice.

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