To be Customer-Focused, We Have to be Process-Focused

Since the people we serve and sell to are truly the ones in charge, a customer orientation should drive all of the organization’s activities. We need to start with the customers’ wishes, with what they want from us, with what they consider value. 

It’s not our opinion that counts. As the supplier, our perspective on what represents value, quality, or worthwhile work may be quite different from the customers’ thinking. But if we’re smart, and if we take a process-centered approach, we’ll start by determining what customers really want from us.  Then we’ll work backward from there.

A process is a series of related steps or tasks that together create value for the customer. The most important word here is “customer.” A process perspective on a business is the customer’s perspective. That’s because processes are the means by which an organization produces its products and services. And the only things that customers really care about are these outputs. Our results. Customers are totally uninterested in our organization chart, strategic plan, personnel policies, or such. The important thing to them is the value we deliver. So if we’re going to be customer-focused, we have to be process-focused ...