Creating a customer pull mentality

Creating a customer pull mentality


Our client is a market leader in the UK retailing industry. In the past 8 years, the increase in competitors and change in production and manufacturing, had resulted in a decline of market share. Internally, organisational growth had produced a large, hierarchical structure with little cross-fascia communication and poor customer focus.
The client felt they had lost sight of the customer. They had evolved into a product push business when what was needed was a customer pull culture. If they could get closer to their customer, they could improve their competitive capability.

Consulting Assignment

The client asked us to focus on one of the most profitable fascias, young fashion, but one facing increasingly stronger competition. The project was to: “Create a customer-pull culture.”

Key Project Activities

We delivered the assignment in three phases:
Phase One – Analysis
Client interviews, a customer survey/focus groups, staff survey/focus groups revealed:

  • The fascia lacked focus. Some 50% of footfall was undertaken by people who used to shop here but couldn’t find anything suitable. Conversion was only 7%.
  • Management and the key teams, namely merchandising and retail, engaged in internal competitive behavior often at the expense of the customer and overall business.

Phase Two – Design
We established two change teams to address the issues raised as follows:

  1. Operations – supply chain/customer journey. With a brief to develop a seamless journey between customer demand and product supply.
  2. Organisation – structure, management and culture. With a brief to look at how the organisation structure, management processes and culture would support the customer pull concept and create a truly customer centric business.

Phase Three – Implementation
The change teams presented their findings to the board and the executive and helped in implementing the resultant change agenda. The methodological approach was subsequently rolled out to the other fascia’s.

Client Benefits

Client benefits include:

  • Sales up 15%
  • Customer satisfaction up 22%
  • Staff satisfaction up 24%
  • Stock outs reduced by 17%