Q

What is the way for creating customer-centric culture in startups. We are a three year old B2C startup. The founding team and actually most of the leadership are engineers. We are growing fast but like all engineers we continue to trip on product and not customers. I feel this will become a problem in our company culture. What is the way to address?


A
Answered by Meeta Malhotra

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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