Customer-centric focus key for long-term brand differentiation – Dana Crisan

24 July 2015 03:13 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Holcim’s three customer commitments are key to the Group achieving true customer-centric service, Customer Excellence Coach – Holcim Group Dana Crisan said during a recent visit to Sri Lanka. These commitments are ‘We create value,’ ‘We keep our promises,’ and ‘We are easy to do business with.’
During her visit, Dana and Holcim Lanka  reviewed work processes to ensure a customer-centric organization. This entailed educating and empowering employees to be aligned with customer needs, evaluating customer feedback to ensure any gaps were addressed. 

In creating value, the company must strive to serve both the customer as well as themselves. “Both stakeholders have to gain from the partnership in terms of value creation. It needs to be a win win situation,” Dana explained. 

It is equally vital that a company delivers on its promises. “Just as in our personal lives, keeping promises is valuable in the business environment.

Otherwise people lose trust. They are not going to believe in what you say, your products and services and they’re more likely to turn to other competitors.”

By committing to be easy to do business with, the company concerned commits to look within in order to make internal processes as lean as possible, and ensure that they respond to customer rather than internal needs. 

Part of Dana’s scope of work is ensuring that the Holcim Group companies live up to these promises. This is a vital function, she explains, as customer orientation is the sole way of ensuring long term differentiation in the market. 

“Just as ensuring stakeholder’s safety gives us the license to operate, I believe that customer excellence gives us the license to thrive,” Dana said. “In the century we are living in, with so much economical change, we have more and more customers working across borders. They have access to information, the latest technologies and the latest concepts in terms of products, selling and marketing. The only way to keep up with this, I believe, is focusing the company towards customers.”

Holcim has already put Dana’s advice to good use in several ways. For instance, one group company’s Business Administration department cut down on their internal  reports to the bare minimum. They also introduced a “zero harm to customers” policy, using the if/then concept to prepare for all eventualities, so that every person in the organization was aware of their responsibilities. This company focused on effective leadership, and also ensured that they asked themselves whether they were fulfilling the three commitments with their every action. 

In fact, there are many practical examples where a customer focus has led to a company growing from strength to strength. However the one common denominator among these companies is strong leadership, and a proper accountability process, Dana said. 

With over 13 years of experience working for Holcim Group, Dana said her best learning has been to empower her team to realize their potential. “If one single person in a company is passionate and believes in what he or she does, I really believe they can change the organization and together, we can gain huge results. Holcim Lanka has the power to be one of the most customer-centric companies in Sri Lanka,” she said. 

Customer Excellence is at the very center of Holcim’s Strategy House, as it is vital to change mindsets in order to enable for the creation of value. Customer Excellence is part of the fabric of Holcim from top to bottom; from the individual employees’ daily work to the Group’s overall business strategy.

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