Customer Views on Customer Empowerment: Report on Field Test of Interview Field Guide in India

Developing a methodology to understand the concept of customer empowerment

This report summarizes the findings of a field test undertaken by CGAP to understand the customer perspective on “customer empowerment." It contributes to building the definition of customer empowerment and strengthens the framing of the concept for CGAP’s work on customer-centricity. The underlying hypothesis for this work is that a more dynamic customer-provider relationship based on trust and customer confidence helps reduce the problem of inactivity and results in a win-win situation for both. The report suggests that the term empowerment is multidimensional, and is individual, context, and culture-specific. Hence, an approach that breaks down the term into a number of dimensions should be used to understand the concept. Key lessons learned from the field test include:

  • It is not meaningful to directly ask clients their view on empowerment, and the approach of focusing on customer experience and capability works better;
  • Combination of focus group discussions and individual interviews work well in assessing customer capability;
  • Referring to an organization with which interviewees already had an existing relationship helps in the success of interviews;
  • Profiling customers by questioning them on distinguishing factors is important to understand the concept of customer empowerment.

About this Publication

By Simanowitz, A., Banerjee, S. , Koning, A.