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Before understanding customer driven organization we should further delve into the fact that who is actually a customer.

Customer is anybody who pays for the products and services that an organization produces or serves. Customer wants, Organization Produces. In a traditional organization the hierarchy of organization is more like a pyramid where the top management sits at the top of the pyramid and the middle management in the middle and the frontline people of the company, the sales and marketing people of the company in the base of the pyramid where they have access to customer needs and wants and the information flow to the top of the pyramid is rather very slow and often the information that reaches the top of the pyramid is out of context or even is misinterpreted. The more the levels of bureaucracies the more are the chances of communication gap and misinterpretation of the information. In any organization the most important part is customers and the most important information for any organization is the information about what kind service or product the customer wants. This information is vital for any organization for production of goods or serving products. The actual position of the customer is all around the organization and the best way to visualize the customer driven organization is like just the opposite of the traditional organization, it is like a pyramid upside down. It is here we get the fundamental aspect of a customer driven organization, everyone in the business is directly connected with the customer and serves the needs of the customer. The hierarchy is flattened and levels of hierarchy are lessened to decrease the communication gap between the two. According to Endoswan the transformed organization is one where the goods or services produced by the organization are of excellent quality and it delivers it to a well-defined market segment. Here, two things need to be considered, one is Quality and the other one is the well-defined market segment. As such the Quality of a product or service is very difficult to define; more so the Quality of a Product is different for different customers as their needs changes with time. As a working definition of Quality we can define it as anything the customers want is Quality. Then the problem that first arises is Voices of customers. Voice of customer is different for different customer and hence the quality too differs in some way or the other. So to maintain an acceptable standard we define a market segment and club the main requirements in the voice of customers and make it the voice of the defined market segment. Market segmentation is mainly done with the respect to customer needs. You see that market is segmented under the following criteria: like one it is large enough to make some sizeable profit, two the market is segmented with respect to the broad requirements of the customers. Like say for example the car market which is segmented with respect to the requirements of the customer needs (for example hatchback, sedan or premium car etc.). So you see these are very fuzzy areas and are very difficult to define and measure. But the most important part of any organization is customers and hence apart from wasting our time and energy in trying to segment the market or define quality for a market, customer or market segment it is esiear to orient ourself to the customers of the company. Now before going into how to transform the organization to a customer oriented organization let us understand what a traditional organization is. A organization differs whether it is a traditional organization or a transformed organization on certain fronts like the attitude towards customers, product and service planning etc. Perhaps the most important factor where the customer driven organization differs from a traditional organization is in its focus. Where the traditional organization focuses on the bottom line financial results the customer driven transformed organization focuses on

the customer satisfaction. While there are other major factors upon which the two forms of company depends, the major factor is in its focus. The major factors of a transformed organization are the focus of the company and: 1. Flattened hierarchies; 2. Risk taking; 3. Communication; Flattened hierarchies means less number of bureaucratic levels and more communication of the customer with the leadership of the company. This entails, that the leadership of the company is aware of the needs and requirements of the customers and the planning or the decision making that the leadership takes are in lieu with the needs of the most important part of the organization, the customers. Risk taking ability of a company is how responsive the organization is towards the demands of the customer. The customer demands and requirements change drastically and are ever-changing. The organizations that can sense the need and requirements of the companys customers, even before the customer explicitly express themselves, wins the race. This risk taking ability is a characteristic of the customer driven organization. The companys think tank is always in a look to the changing demands of the companys customers and tries to figure out, which type of features or things the customers are likely to demand in the immediate future, and, try to bring about those products and services in the immediate future so that they are always ahead of their competitors. Communication is one of the big part of the companys topmost management, and, priority should be given by the companys management ,as well as the board of management, of the company should take care to communicate with the companys employees about the vision of the company. The need to change only comes at the precipice, it only when a danger has come, or is imminent, that the leadership of the company shakes up to change. Leaders should realize that their behavior carries tremendous symbolic meaning. This can contribute to the failure of convincing employees; a single action which is inconsistent with the stated message is sufficient to destroy all credibility. On the plus side, an action that clearly shows a commitment to the vision can help spread the word that Theyre serious this time. The leadership should seek out stories that capture the essence of the new organization and repeat these stories often. Leaders should expect to devote a minimum of 50% of their time to communication during the transition. Boards of directors: It is vital to obtain the enthusiastic endorsement of the new strategy by the board. Management cannot focus their attention until this support has been received. This will require that management educate their board and ask them for their approval. However, boards are responsible for governance, not management. Dont ask the board to approve tactics. This bogs down the board, stifles creativity in the ranks, and slows the organization down. Unions: In the transformed organization, everyones job changes. If the organizations employees are unionized, changing jobs requires that the union become managements partner in the transformation process. In fact organization union employees will have greater authority. Union representatives should

be involved in all phases of the transformation, including planning and strategy development. By getting union input, the organization can be assured that during collective bargaining the union wont undermine the companys ability to compete or sabotage the strategic plan. Unions also play a role in auditing the companys activities to assure that they comply with contracts and labor laws. . Measuring results: It is important that the right things be measured. The right things are those things, that determine that you are delivering the required and demanded things, to your customers, investors, employees, and other stakeholders. The measurements are used to learn about how to improve, not for judgment. Lastly, you must measure the right way. Measurements should cover processes as well as outcomes. Data must be available quickly to the people who use them. Measurements must be easy to understand. Rewarding employees: Rewarding individuals with financial incentives for simply doing their jobs well entails that the employee would become reluctant to do the job without the reward. The result is to destroy the very behavior you want to improve upon. The message is that rewards should not be used as control mechanisms. Employees should be treated like adults and provided with adequate and fair compensation for doing their jobs. Recognizing exceptional performance or effort should be done in a way that encourages cooperation and team spirit, such as parties and public expressions of appreciation. Leaders should assure fairness: e.g., management bonuses and worker pay cuts dont mix. Out of many reasons that compel the companies to gather information about their products and services from their customers, customer satisfaction survey is, the, most important of them all. A primary reason is the evaluation of the customers perception of the firms product and service quality and its impact on customer satisfaction. The purpose may be to get an idea of the general condition of quality and satisfaction, or a comparison of the current levels with the firms goals. A firm might wish to conduct employee surveys and focus groups to assess the organizations quality structure. Strategies for communicating with customers and employees: There are four primary strategies commonly used to obtain information from or about customers and employees: Sample surveys Case studies Field experiments Available data

Sample Surveys