Great that you are thinking about this early, Tamil. Creating a customer-centric culture in startups is often left until it is too late. Here are 4 steps you could take (and they don’t need too many resources)
- Create a ‘Face your customer’ program where your leadership team has to interact with customers. For example, answering service calls or making deliveries. Make this part of their KRAs.
- I don’t know how much customer research you are doing but as part of the program, make sure that leaders have to attend x hours of customer research a month.
- Draw up customer personas or ‘virtual customers’. Make an ink sketch of the top 3 or 4 types. Give them names, get a sense of their lives, their behaviour, their needs. Put up pictures around the office. Include these personas in all your HR initiatives, your team-building and internal contests and awards.
- Finally, remember that you team will only follow if you demonstrate the same commitment. Send out regular communication about the customers you have interacted with and what you have learnt.