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How to embrace ‘customer centricity’ at any size
As a business, you’re never too big or small to embrace the ‘nimble agility’ of startup thinking, especially when it comes to customer-centricity.
During a recent webinar hosted by Chasm Digital, leading experts discussed how brands like Nordstrom have stayed relevant by maintaining a customer-centric approach.

The experts on the panel were:

  • Robert Spector, International CX Leader, and best selling author of ‘The Nordstrom Way’
  • Mark Baartse, Former Showpo CMO, Outsourced Marketing & E-Commerce Consultant
  • Rob Kinkade, Co-Founder and CEO, Chasm Digital



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Startups excel at being customer-centric 
"Startups get out of the building and engage with customers to really tune in to what matters to them. They understand the problems their customers face, and seek to solve these problems through the company's proposition. This is how they can enable new gains and new opportunities," Rob Kinkade, Co-Founder and CEO, Chasm Digital says.

According to Rob, it's important for all organisations - startup and legacy - to have the humility to ask their customers questions in order to understand their needs. The customers have the answers businesses are searching for.

"There are some practical things that Nordstrom has done over the years which demonstrates their commitment to customer-centricity. For example, they have developed and prototyped a sunglass finder app. They asked customers to analyse the prototypes and mock-ups, and share their opinions to contribute to a better end product," Rob adds.
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Unlocking the value of customer insight 
"Startups get out of the building and engage with customers to really tune in to what matters to them. They understand the problems their customers face, and seek to solve these problems through the company's proposition. This is how they can enable new gains and new opportunities," Rob Kinkade, Co-Founder and CEO, Chasm Digital says.

According to Rob, it's important for all organisations - startup and legacy - to have the humility to ask their customers questions in order to understand their needs. The customers have the answers businesses are searching for.

"There are some practical things that Nordstrom has done over the years which demonstrates their commitment to customer-centricity. For example, they have developed and prototyped a sunglass finder app. They asked customers to analyse the prototypes and mock-ups in the stores, and share their opinions to contribute to a better end product," Rob adds.
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Who is getting it right?
Robert Spector, International CX Leader, and best selling author of ‘The Nordstrom Way’ shared his experience of a recent conversation with the Head of Retail of eyeglasses brand Warby Parker. While the brand has been strictly online, in the past few years they've opened 100 stores nationally. The Head of Retail said it is amazing how much you can learn when you talk to the customer.

"This was the big 'aha moment' because you have the customer right there. They think enough of your business to leave their home, get in their car, and go to your place of business. They're definitely interested. So it’s a good opportunity to ask them what they like with what they don't like. They're a captive audience, and they're already motivated," Robert notes.

Having worked with Service NSW in the early days, Rob says the thought process on building this customer-facing platform was understanding what the customer wants when they interact with government services and their pain points.

"We designed a concept that put the customer in the heart of the experience, and gave the team a creative license to be disruptive. We asked the team to question everything; , Why have a security screen if it's a barrier to customer engagement?. Why not give them the option to do it all online? If they want to come into a service centre that is fine. The aim is to put the customer in control," Rob concludes.

Tune in to watch the full conversation free and on demand here.


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