A customer-centric strategy is the only way to do business, says Telefónica’s Earle

“Putting the customer at the heart of everything that you do will increase revenue and profit, as well as improving satisfaction internally and externally.” This emphatic statement sums up why Jonathan Earle, head of customer strategy and development at Telefónica UK, believes a customer-centric approach is the only way to do business.

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Earle, who will be speaking at Marketing Week Live 2014, will be talking conference attendees through two Telefónica case studies – one based in the UK and one based in Slovakia – where a customer-centric strategy was applied.

Earle says: “In Slovakia we are a challenger brand. Our CEO is very entrepreneurial and we disrupted the market with our customer-centric approach.” Earle will explain how this approach helped the business gain customers and brand fans.

Telefónica’s Earle will also be talking about his three rules of customer centric thinking, which are: stand for something; be consistent and ruthless in execution; and believe in your people.

Getting rid of your managers, letting employees decide how much holiday to take, and allowing them to work from the beach if it suits them, might sound scary to those used to working in a rigid corporate environment, but Earle says you have to trust your employees to get the best out of them.

He says increasing internal satisfaction will result in better business results, and a vital part of that is letting staff get on with their jobs without the bureaucracy that traditionally comes with running a big business.

But Earle says: “you have to be careful what you wish for”. By that he means if you do get rid of job titles, allow employees to choose their own line manager depending on who they are most inspired by, and let them make big decisions “then you have to be prepared for mistakes to happen.”

But, he says, if you have a clear vision of what the company should be achieving, empowering your employees to carry out a customer-centric strategy will reap rewards for the business.

Jonathan Earle, head of customer strategy and development at Telefonica O2, will be talking at Marketing Week Live. You can find out more about the conference programme here. 

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