Customer vs Enterprise Perspective

Strategy, Architecture & Problem-Solving

Customer vs Enterprise Perspective


Here’s a quick exercise on perspective, scope and how we view problems. 

How big is your enterprise?

Follow that question with these two questions:

  • How big is it compared to the size of your organisation?
  • How big is it compared to the size of your team?

That’s the internal focus. 

Now let’s try a different perspective:

What does your typical customer think the size of your enterprise is?

Now follow that question with these:

  • Who did they speak to first when enquiring about your products/services or asking for a referral to you?
  • Did you include the indirect sales channel or the affiliate?
  • How about the marketing activities that created brand awareness?
  • How about the pain that the customer experienced, creating the need to change? Was it caused by your product or a partner in the process?
  • How about the delivery driver?
  • Or the aftersales phonecall
  • Or the insurance claim?

That introduces us to the Customer Perspective and it’s usually different from the internal focus, taking into account the wider enterprise.

The Customer Perspective

4 mailboxes with red flags
Where does the enterprise stop?

While the customer is less likely to understand the difference between the concept of organisation/company/firm and the concept enterprise, they innately know the difference. They feel it and express it to you through their complaints and praise. 

For instance, the delivery driver belongs to you, regardless of whether you’ve outsourced delivery or whether you pay per delivery. Even if your organisation doesn’t do delivery, but instead pays for delivery services, to a customer that’s still part of the same enterprise. If delivery goes wrong, it’s your fault. Why did you use that delivery company? Why don’t you manage them better? This is even more the case with installers. Even if you only deliver part of the service, your reputation can be tainted by those that are involved with the customer later in the process.

The salesperson works for the same enterprise, not necessarily the same organisation

At the other end of the journey, did the customer speak to a salesperson who promised them features they can’t have? If that salesperson worked for a 3rd party, as in common with utilities and telcos, not only may you have the issue of a disgruntled customer (and having to work through what happened and then how to resolve the expectations), but you’ve already off to a bad start with building a relationship with the customer. This is worse when the line between your organisation and the salesperson is blurred. We see this commonly where brand artefacts are appropriate (sometimes under agreement, sometimes inappropriately) to appear to the customer that the salesperson is part of your organisation.

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