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How has customer-centricity evolved in recent years?
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How has customer-centricity evolved in recent years?

The meaning of the term ‘customer-centricity’ has shifted. What once meant solely to synthesise what people are saying about your products and services, has now evolved to encompass the many views on customer that exist across teams within an organisation.

Nick Russell
February 8, 2022


We live in a knowledge economy in which organisations invested in centralising intangible assets, such as customer knowledge, are able to design and deliver truly remarkable products and services.

However, centralising knowledge across an organisation has become harder than ever. A large contributing factor for this being the explosion in specialised tools used to discover customer insights throughout recent years.

An explosion in the specialised tools used to conduct customer research.

This increase in tooling makes it much easier to conduct different types of research, but also increases the difficulty of maintaining a single view on customers and their needs.

As a result, how we define ‘customer-centricity’ has shifted. What once meant solely to synthesise what people are saying about your products and services, has now evolved to encompass the many views on customer that exist across teams within an organisation.

Customer-centricity is evolving

The development of technology has allowed us to move from listening and responding to direct customer feedback only (1) to being able to capture and analyse customer data from all different types of qualitative and quantitative research (2).

Lots of teams have been combining different unstructured data types into more structured ‘mixed method’ insights (3) that help to provide a balanced view on customers and their behaviour. And most recently, the highest maturity organisations are combining insights across teams to develop a collective knowledge and ‘connect the dots’ surrounding their customers (4).

We’re living in an era where true alignment on customers and their needs across product, marketing, sales, and the wider business is critical to long-term success.

The life expectancy of a business has diminished

The average life expectancy of a business has reduced from 67 years in the 1920s, to less than 18 years today. In fact, only 1 in 4 businesses today survive 15 years or more. Consistently, one of the top reasons for a business’ demise is failing to deliver real value to customers.

And larger corporate behemoths need to innovate too in order to continue adding value to the market and maintain their spot at the top. Especially as it’s now expected that 75% of the companies currently quoted on the S&P 500 will have disappeared by 2027.

How to win in the knowledge economy

Building collective knowledge across teams isn’t new or unchartered territory, there are already a number of clear winners.

Disruptive product organisations like Uber have developed their own internal insights platform to connect teams together and break down silos.

The co-working giant WeWork has also invested in developing its own insights tool to gain knowledge about their members and help make better product decisions.

And larger, rejuvenated incumbents like Microsoft have also built their own repository, called HITS, for managing thousands of research findings at scale.

What’s the common thread? The winners today are fully invested in the knowledge economy. They’re able to use their collective knowledge to make better decisions, faster, and ultimately build truly remarkable products and services for their customers.

In practice this means:

- Knowledge is accessible by anyone, anywhere

- There’s true alignment on customer across teams

- People have clarity around the impact and engagement surrounding their research

- The organisation benefits from ongoing value from existing knowledge; and

- Teams and stakeholders are able to make better decisions, faster

Customer centricity has shifted and so has the way today’s best organisations approach customer knowledge.

More and more businesses are turning to dedicated repository tools to make it easier to maintain a single view on customers and maximise the value of the customer knowledge they hold across teams.

Only through collective knowledge are organisations able to keep on top of ever-changing customer demands, deliver exceptional products to their users, and develop the next generation of game-changing products and services.

You can learn more about the process today’s best product organisations are following to level up their research operations by downloading a free copy of our User research is broken: A guide on how to level up your research operations playbook, available here.

About Dualo

Dualo is an insights hub used by digital product teams to get more repeatable value from their user research and insights, so that stakeholders can make informed and timely decisions across the organisation. If you're interested in learning more, please request a demo and a member of our team will be in touch.

Further reading






Nick Russell

I'm one of the Co-Founders of Dualo, passionate about research, design, product, and AI. Always open to chatting with others about these topics.

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