Everything You Need to Know About Customer Centricity in SAFe

Welcome to PremierAgile!

*Avail a Flat 15% Discount Across all our certification courses

Avail Zero Interest EMI

Mega Offer! Save up to INR 22000 when you buy our Advanced course Combo packages


With an objective to enable continuous learning and progression for our learners, PremierAgile curated several learning articles. Out of a wide range of topics, you can choose to learn from the real-world experiences by practitioners in the areas of Agile, Scrum, Product Ownership, Scaling, Agile Leadership, Tools & Frameworks, latest market trends, new innovations etc.

What is Customer Centricity in SAFe?

Blog Image

Customer is the key to the success of any business. So, most businesses give importance to Customer Centric practices. Experts say that customer-centricity is actually a mindset that any business should adopt. Only then, the business can provide a positive experience to its customers. Irrespective of the decision that a business makes customers should be at the forefront. This should happen particularly in decisions regarding products and services.

When a business is customer-centric, it will automatically look for ways to provide solutions. The solutions will focus on the pain points that customers face. A good organization will never fail to put itself in the shoes of customers when it intends to solve any issue. This approach will help any organization. Yes, it will help with the development of a long-lasting satisfactory relationship with its customers. So, now, you know what customer centricity is. But, do you know what SAFe customer-centricity is? Before understanding it, it is better to learn what is SAFe:

What is SAFe?

SAFe® expanded as Scaled Agile Framework holds the pride of being the world’s leading framework for business agility. It is nothing but a system for the implementation of DevOps, Lean and Agile practices. It is a leading framework because it works besides being sustainable, customizable, and trusted. 

As a business owner, you will naturally be looking for ways to build responsiveness. Even collaboration and operational excellence should be in the DNA of your organization. Of course, you wish to include customer satisfaction as well in this list. But, you do not know where to start, isn’t it? This is where SAFe can provide you with a proven playbook for the transformation you wish to achieve.

What Makes SAFe Special?

SAFe can aid you to make some improvements in how you work. In other words, it will help you improve your business in every aspect. Right from the quality of products and solutions, it can even help with improving employee engagement. 

Further, this framework functions based on 10 foundation principles. When you follow these principles, you can align with the right people. Further, you can learn how to respond not only to opportunities but also to threats. You can deliver high-quality solutions as per the desire of your customers. So, by following SAFe practices, your business will get many steps closer to customer-centricity.

SAFe is a special framework that any business can follow. The reason is that it lets businesses put a greater focus on their customers. It can help your business to place customers at the heart of any decision that you make around the service or product you deliver. It is right that the functional and technical aspects of any product are the key. Nevertheless, the satisfaction that customers gain can make or break the success of any product or service. Let us consider your customers continue to get a positive experience. In this case, your business will continue to develop and thrive in the competitive world. In short, with customer centricity in SAFe, you can meet and even exceed the expectations of your customers. In this framework, you will be motivated to:

  • Pay attention to customers
  • Understand their needs
  • Think and feel by getting into their shoes
  • Develop whole product solutions
  • Understand customer lifetime value
Foundation For Customer Centric Enterprise:

To get the SAFe impact of customer centricity, the right foundation should be laid. The foundations for this approach are user and market research. These researches will help with obtaining actionable insights. What type of insights? A perception of the issues that customers face. Even, it will help with the generation of solution context and requirements. When market research can drive strategy, user research can drive design.

The Focus of Market Research:
As market research can drive strategy, it should focus on the following:
  • Who and What
  • Evaluating what larger samples will have to say
  • Asking people about values, opinions, and concepts
  • Asking prospective customers about what they wish to buy
  • Selling and marketing the product
The Focus of User Research:
As user research will help with driving product design, its focus should be:
  • How and why
  • Evaluating what smaller samples will have to say
  • Observing what people do
  • Identifying how a market will use
  • Product requirements

When you follow Scaled Agile Customer Centricity, the research activities will happen. It means that it will take place continuously. They will be supported through an ongoing delivery pipeline and exploration.

Developing Solutions from a customer perspective:

In Scaled Agile Framework customer-centricity, your team will focus on applying empathic design. This approach will follow all through the process of designing your product or service. It means that you will start developing solutions from the customer’s perspective. This is something different from developing solutions with some predetermined ideas.

When following empathic design practices, your team will understand the hardships that customers face. Apart from the functional needs of customers, your team will address:

  • Visual appeal needs
  • Emotive needs
  • The design needs the right placement of physical features
  • Compliance, security, and performance of products

When a product design is made considering the factors above, naturally, your team will end up creating products that customers will love. The reason is that it will address the problems they solve. It will give answers to the questions they have. In turn, your product success can be ensured.

Understanding The Difference Between Customer Centricity and Customer Service:

You should not confuse customer centricity with customer service. Both these are different concepts. Every business out there can provide customer service. But, all of them cannot provide Customer Centric solutions. However, a business that follows the SAFe customer-centricity framework can achieve it. Now, let us throw some light on how customer centricity is different from customer service:

You can think of customer service as a communication between a person receiving a product or service and the business that provides it. When it comes to B2C model businesses, it is the communication between paying customers and the business. But, in the B2B model, customer service takes place between the end-users of the business that purchased a product and the business that provides the product or service. Here, the end users can be departments or individuals, while the provider can generally be a customer-service department or sales department. 

Now, let us get into customer-centricity. It is a value that informs the behavior of each individual in your business. When you take the case of organizations with a focus on customer-centricity, they will consider the entire customer journey. It means that they will anticipate the needs of customers. They do not focus only on a single transaction. But, their focus will be on satisfying the needs and providing solutions to customers. Every member of an organization that follows customer-centricity will function under an assumption. The assumption is that they have the ability to impact the entire experience of customers with every decision they make. Naturally, it encompasses customer service. However, it does not start or end with frontline staff.

The Initial Step to Becoming Customer-Centric:

Do you wish to follow the SAFe customer centricity approach in your organization? The foundation for this culture is commitment. Yes, each member in your organization should commit to putting customers at the core. Every decision that any employee in your organization makes should pass through the lens called customer experience. With this approach, the outcome will be a proactive approach. Your entire organization will start focusing on customer experience at every level. 

Things Needed To Create A Customer Centric Approach:

The key objective of any organization that strives to create a Customer Centric culture is to create constant awareness. Employees should be kept aware that they are striving to create a culture of customer-centricity. They should be motivated to uphold the culture at all times. Irrespective of whether they are watched or not, they should stick to the culture. You can achieve it by:

  • Building teams that motivate each other
  • Encouraging and seeking inputs from every member
  • Aligning behavior mismatches if any
  • Promoting the vision to uphold the culture
  • Building confidence that they are on the right path
  • Training the employees on a Customer Centric approach
How to Maintain Customer Centric Approach?

Apart from developing customer-centricity in SAFe, it is equally important to maintain it. For maintaining it, you can follow the tips given below:

  • You can set up tracking and reporting processes at each level
  • Also, you should pay attention to ongoing process improvement
  • Recognition is a powerful tool for motivating your workforce. Recognize the top performers sticking to a Customer Centric approach and appreciate them. This approach will motivate others as well to stay on track.
  • Continuous training and reinforcement are also important

Customer Centric businesses are able to generate greater profits. They are able to enjoy employee engagement and an increase in the number of satisfied customers. In the same way, nonprofit organizations and governments that function with this approach are able to create alignment, sustainability, and resiliency required to meet their goals. As a deep understanding of customer needs is the main step in this approach, the outcome will be even more fruitful with SAFe.

  1. https://www.scaledagileframework.com/customer-centricity/
  2. https://www.eaglesflight.com/customer-centricity-key-to-better-customer-experience
  3. https://www.praecipio.com/resources/blog/what-is-customer-centricity-in-SAFe-5.0



Is a passionate learner and blogger on Agile, Scrum and Scaling areas. She has been following and practicing these areas for several years and now converting those experiences into useful articles for your continuous learning.