Inside-out thinking is an organization’s approach to customer and partner engagement that focuses on bringing those customers into the organization’s own ways of doing business. In this traditional approach, customers are expected to adapt to the pre-existing ways of the organization’s processes, information, and transactions. The customer's wants and needs come second to the organization's existing structure.
In the past, and even today, inside-out thinking is the most common approach to managing customer interactions. The customer comes into an environment already defined by the organization. However, as organizations begin to have access to more customer information and data analytics tools, and as customer expectations are growing and changing, inside-out thinking is becoming outdated and calls for an evolution in customer management. (See: Outside-In Thinking).