10 Principles of Customer-Centricity


How Winning Organizations are Built

Shep Hyken interviews Annette Franz, founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. and the author of Built to Win: Designing a Customer-Centric Culture that Drives Value for Your Business. They discuss why customer-centricity needs to be understood and lived by the whole organization.

Top Takeaways:

Annette Franz shares the 10 key defining foundational principles that ensure customer-centricity from her latest book:

  1. Culture is the foundation. Culture is core values plus behaviors. It needs to be deliberately designed to be customer-centric.
  2. Leadership commitment and alignment are critical to success. Customer centricity cannot just be one department or one person. It needs to be organization-wide.
  3. Employee experience: employees must be put more first. When employees are happy and engaged, they will be more productive.
  4. People come before products. Put the people first and take the time to understand who they are, their needs, pain, and what they are trying to do. Understanding our customers is how we can develop products for them instead of finding customers for our products.
  5. People come before profits. Profits and shareholder value are outcomes. Great customer experiences are how we make sure that we get to those outcomes.
  6. People come before metrics. If you focus on numbers and metrics, you do things differently than when you focus on improving the experience, which will ultimately move those numbers.
  7. Customer understanding is the cornerstone. The voice of the customer is the cornerstone to every discussion, decision, and design of a customer-centric culture.
  8. Governance bridges organizational gaps. Governance has two parts to it- the structure and the operating model. The structure is all of the committees that we have to get the organization working together to benefit the customer. The operating model is the people, the tools, the data, and the processes.
  9. Outside-in thinking and doing vs. inside-out thinking and doing are core. Thinking outside-in is bringing the customer’s voice into everything we do.
  10. The Platinum Rule® rules. We’re all familiar with The Golden Rule, which is to treat others the way you want to be treated. Franz shares an important lesson from Dr. Tony Alessandra’s concept he calls The Platinum Rule, which is to treat others the way they want to be treated.


“You get the culture you design or the one you allow. Leaders need to be committed and aligned to customer-centricity.”

“If we have a great employee experience, we’re going to have a great customer experience.”

“A customer-centric culture is a collaborative culture. It’s all about bringing the organization together to make sure that the customer has a better experience.”


Annette Franz, CCXP, founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc., is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, and keynote speaker. She is the author of Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business). Her latest book, Built to Win: Designing a Customer-Centric Culture that Drives Value for Your Business, is now available.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. What is customer-centricity?
  2. What is The Platinum Rule® rule?
  3. What is customer service culture?
  4. How do you use the voice of the customer?
  5. What does being people first mean?

Originally published at hyken.com on March 22, 2022



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Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, customer service expert, business speaker and New York Times bestselling author, helps companies deliver AMAZING customer service and experiences!