In the world of business models and strategies, we often come across words that are used interchangeably. ‘Customer’, ‘Client’ and ‘Consumer’ – each of these terms carries a unique meaning and relevance depending on the context. As we dive into the nuances of The 3Cs Model, an important question arises: which term should we use?

Recently, I had an enlightening conversation with a client in the health sector. For them, each term held specific relevance:

  • ‘Consumer’ represented the government and taxpayers who consumed their overall service;
  • ‘Client’ denoted the patients they served directly;
  • ‘Customer’ described individuals purchasing from their retail stores that fund services.

Add to this the element of ‘Community’, which represented a wider network of stakeholders connected to their services, and the picture became even more complex.

The 3Cs ModelCommercial Responsibility, Customer Value, and Culture – is designed to create synergy and alignment in organisations, leading to high performance through engagement. However, when the term ‘Customer’ is replaced with ‘Client’, ‘Consumer’, or ‘Community’, does the model lose its efficacy? Not at all.

In fact, the richness of The 3Cs Model lies in its flexibility. It’s not a rigid set of principles but a dynamic framework that adjusts to an organisation’s unique context. It’s a tool to create clarity, not confusion.

In our coaching and workshop sessions, we often discuss the terminology of The 3Cs Model. This isn’t a stumbling block, but rather a stepping stone towards deeper understanding and ownership of the process. This conversation helps organisations see the model in their unique light, fostering commitment and buy-in.

Remember, the goal of The 3Cs Model is not to attain perfection in semantics but to assist in developing harmony, performance, and prosperity. The real power of the model is its ability to adapt and accommodate diverse organisational structures and stakeholder groups. It might be ‘Customer’ for some, ‘Client’ for others, ‘Consumer’ for another group, or even ‘Community’.

The takeaway here? Don’t get entangled in the terminology. Instead, embrace the adaptability of The 3Cs Model, and let it guide you towards the synergy between Commercial Responsibility, Customer (Client, Consumer, or Community) Value, and Culture.

The 3Cs Model is a lens to view your organisation. Adjust the focus until the picture is clear and relevant to you. The term you use doesn’t change the model’s utility – it merely personalises it to your context.

Remember, it’s not about balance; it’s about finding synergy. Happy decoding!