The Customer Data Professional Alliance (CDPa), the leading center of excellence for customer data professionals, today announced the release of the Customer-Centricity Maturity Assessment, a comprehensive guide for establishing where an organization stands in its adoption of best practices for customer-centric strategy and data-driven growth. This assessment is the first installment of the CDPa’s “Getting Your Customer-Centric Transformation Started” Playbook, which will soon include guides for mapping opportunities and measuring the impact of those efforts.
Founded with financial and organizational support from Amperity, the founding members of the CDPa work to advance the responsible use of customer insights and data to drive customer-centric growth. The CDPa is an independent alliance that brings together business practitioners, academics, and technology companies to develop research and share best practices in a collaborative and solutions-agnostic environment.
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“Customer-centric transformation is hard work and can’t be solved by technology alone. It also requires organizational transformation: new skills, new processes, and an entirely new mindset,” said Kabir Shahani, CEO at Amperity. “We founded Amperity to provide the technology that enterprises need, and now, with our support, the CDPa will provide space to learn from each other and develop resources to get the most from their efforts.”
The Customer-Centricity Maturity Assessment is an effort to address one of the challenges that CDPa members consistently identified through their discussions among peers. CDPa members said that they often lacked a tool to help identify where their organizations were in their customer-centricity journey, and could use guidance in estimating the investment required to continue to use their customer data to improve business performance and customer experiences. The assessment was designed to empower decision-makers across analytics, marketing, technology, and digital to better advocate for a customer-centric approach within their own organizations.
The maturity levels identified in the assessment are informed by how a company has integrated customer-centric behaviors, systems, and processes within its organization, its people, and its technology. As part of the assessment, decision-makers can review each stage and the associated criteria, and place their organization at the right maturity stage. This will give them a framework to identify opportunities, investments needed, and outcomes to expect.
The CDPa’s definition of “customer-centricity” is derived from the pioneering work of Professor Peter Fader, the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia professor of marketing at Wharton School and author of Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage, who defines it as “a strategy that aligns a company’s development/delivery of its products/services around the current and future needs of a select set of customers in order to maximize their long-term financial value to the firm.” In other words, customer-centricity is using customer data to identify the most valuable customers and place them at the center of marketing, analytics, customer support, and more.
According to Fader, customer-centricity requires organizational buy-in at multiple levels: “It’s not just a matter of building out the infrastructure for gathering, organizing, and managing customer data. That’s critical, but it’s just the first step. Becoming customer-centric is about asking the right questions of your data, surfacing the relevant insights, and then having the courage to act on them,” said Fader. “There are plenty of companies out there that have done this work, but they are doing it in isolation. There isn’t that kind of agnostic, collaborative space where companies can learn from each other. That’s what the CDPa is doing: bringing everybody from the data and customer-centricity ecosystem together to have a broad, open conversation about best practices, to share success stories as well as challenges, and do that in a supportive environment where nobody is trying to sell anything.”
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