Story Telling and the Customer’s Perspective

Welcome to the CIAgenda Customer Perspective blog

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 10:23

Welcome to the CIAgenda Customer Perspective blog, which I’ll use to answer some of the most interesting and widely-applicable queries from you, the practitioner base.

The basic concepts behind understanding the customer perspective and taking actions are covered in my book Customer IMPACT Agenda. (It’s also available in German.) And if I’ve done a good job explaining it, you should be able to understand the foundations just from this simple diagram.

 

Once you can truly put aside your current orientation towards the customer - where you look out from your organization at your customers - and instead start thinking in real terms of how your (potential) customer goes about making a decision for a product or service that you may offer, then new ideas and priorities emerge that can help you steer and apply your internal resources better.

One question I’m frequently asked (most often by other management consultants) is “Why?” Why do I use so many concrete examples “for free” in my book and in my speeches? Why do I “give away” all the materials – workshop handouts, even a video of me introducing the concept – instead of keeping it all tightly wrapped to sell through my consultancy?

The reasons for me are clear. First, I’ve always learned best through hearing other people’s stories, so tapping into that storytelling tradition is the natural way for me to transfer the intangibles to others. Through the give-and-take of storytelling, there’s an exchange between participants that instantly forms a community – a group united by a common topic, even if they all have different reasons for their interest in the topic. So, I learn from others as much as I impart through telling a story.

Second, after many years in management consulting, I’ve come to understand that no one hires an organization for proprietary methodologies or templates. Rather, companies work with people who can identify with their issues, bring concrete ideas and best practices with them and structure the execution of a strategy. So providing the framework openly is another way for me to share my experience – but also to gather feedback and continue my personal learning.

So, if something sparks an idea or question, don’t hesitate to send me an email!

Next up: Who Own's the Customer Perspective?