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10 Ways To Cultivate Customer-Centricity

Source | Linkedin | By|Sanjay Ponen

In my over 25 years in the industry, I have learned that there are two engines that are crucial to the success of any technology company: Product Innovation and Customer-Centricity. Much has been written about the hallmarks of an innovation culture. But customer intimacy is just as important, as I’ve observed in my career at companies like VMware, SAP, Apple and Microsoft. For example, VMware has been honored to be ranked #1 in Net Promoter Score (NPS) of all Tech Companies, by Temkin Research – a tremendous tribute to our outstanding customers, but a result of a lot of hard work by our amazing employees – we are grateful for every one of them!

I often get asked by product managers and sales reps, in various stages of their careers – “How do you create a customer-centric culture?” So, I thought to document a few lessons I’ve learned over the years. These are especially applicable to enterprise tech firms. As you read this list, many of these principles are going to feel like common sense, taken right out two of my favorite books – “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (by Steven Covey), or “How To Win Friends and Influence People” (by Dale Carnegie). They should absolutely be that simple, yet it is amazing how few companies practice them! 

Here are some simple recipes to drive excellence in customer-centricity:

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