Clean Technology Canada

Why Cleantech need a customer-centric culture

April 27, 2023
By Mario Cywinski

Presented by:

Photo: ©Vodolazskyi/Adobe Stock

Recently, I took my car to a new mechanic. We had been chasing a vibration issue with our local dealership, but my wallet and patience were nearly empty.

We took the car to the dealership on two separate occasions, paying to have the wheels rebalanced and the front end aligned, at the recommendation of the service technician. Unfortunately, the vibration remained.

When I told the service technician the vibration was still evident, she shrugged and said, “Well, you are going to have to speak with my manager.”

The service manager was aware of the issue and quickly told me that the vibration fell “within tolerance.” It was clear he expected no further discussion. Asking a second time what other options there are to eliminate the vibration, he responded “Mr. Casemore, there is nothing wrong with your vehicle.”

As you might imagine, I wasn’t pleased. In attempting to ignore the vibration, my fillings from my teeth were slowly dislodging.

Still frustrated by the dealership’s response, I stopped by another garage, and once inside, approached the service technician, explaining the problem.

He said “I know exactly the problem you’re having, as we have another customer with the same year, make, and model of vehicle, and they have had the same issues.”

Excited, I asked him to share if they had resolved the issue. He explained that they had replaced a part that had worn out prematurely. As you can imagine, the vehicle was left with the technician, and they solved the problem.
As a result of this incredible experience, I began sharing my story. Telling my friends about the problem, sharing the name of the garage and the technician that assisted. Also, sharing the story when giving speeches to sales teams and organizations.

The point is our employees make the difference in sustaining and growing our sales.

Applying customer-centric mentality to cleantech
Cleantech is a relatively new sector that is experiencing significant growth. This, in turn, is driving further industry expansion, which means we need to hire more people.

The people we hire for technical expertise, engineering acumen, accounting, or production must also have a customer-centric mentality. To continue the growth, we must put our customers’ needs, demands, and expectations first.

You see, as more companies come online and new products continue to evolve, there will be more competition. As competition enters the market, the great differentiator becomes our people.

How engineering interacts with the customer during the design phase. How accounting follows up with a customer on past due payments. How production considers the impact on a customer when making decisions around quality.

Here is how to ensure your employees have a customer centric approach:
1. Educate employees on how their role both directly and indirectly impacts customers.
2. Bring customer concerns, complaints, and issues to employees, keeping them apprised of the problems and letting them be part of the resolution.
3. Involve employees at all levels in front-line customer and sales meetings. Let them experience the voice of the customer firsthand.

A customer-centric culture isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a way of working while always keeping the voice of the customer front and centre.

Remember back to my earlier example about the vibration our car had. Would you rather customers be spreading the good news and positive reviews about working with your company or not?

Too much of one and not the other will stop your business dead in its tracks, even if you are entering a new market, such as cleantech.

Shawn Casemore is a keynote speaker, consultant, and author of three books, including his latest book, The Unstoppable Sales Machine. To learn more about Shawn and his work, visit

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