As if there wasn’t enough competition for struggling industries like banking, retail and airlines, now their list of competitors just multiplied. OK, we’re not talking about direct competitors at the product or service level, but at the customer experience level.
While it’s true that a business is the product of a lot of small actions done correctly and regularly, there has always been another part of the equation. That part has been the macro elements of any given business that represent the biggest areas of strength, momentum and competitiveness.
Sometimes, day-to-day dealings with companies can reveal the difference between true customer centricity and weak attempts at it. A friend of mine was getting his house renovated and one of the major jobs was getting the flooring re-done.
An opportunity exists in many industries to outperform what in the past were considered gold standards. Companies used to operate at B+ levels (from a customer needs perspective) and business owners/executives felt they were meeting a standard.
Telsa’s radical sales model isn’t so radical if you think about it. It’s more an approach that reflects their unique advantages ….. and challenges. And it reveals an important skill for any management team when it comes to role models -- recognizing a common challenge they are facing before emulating them blindly.
I was recently involved in a discussion about companies, big and small, failing to respond to complaints on social media. Initially the focus was on how to help those same companies to figure out the right steps to take. I thought that approach missed the mark because to me the real problem is key leaders and decision makers not knowing where social media customer service fit in the overall business model.
Cynicism is one of the worst diseases among the team members in a company. It’s ability to neutralize the competitiveness and growth potential of a business is astonishing. In more than 15 years of senior management, cynicism is one of the first things I seek to identify, weed out and prevent in my teams.
The surprise isn’t in what they focus on but the degree to which these companies have chosen a path of CX leadership and stayed committed to it. None are identical but all make a mark on customers via the experience they create for them. We’ve paraphrased the mission statements from 12 customer experience leaders to create a list of potential approaches to turning CX into a competitive advantage and growth driver.
Understanding the standard for truly being a customer company -- that's the key to being customer centric. Not from a principle perspective but from the angle of the effectiveness of your programs and their impact on your overall business model.
How did we get to the current customer centric business era that we are in right now? Was it through foresight and visionary business leaders showing us that way to maximum profits through customer centricity?
Businesses will be forced to build the business (financial) case for customer centricity. It will go beyond seeing customer centricity as a good market strategy to being seen as the the smartest financial foundation for a business to have.
How is your business operating? Is it agile and is your team making rapid decisions to evolve your competitive advantage? OR Do a lot of your innovation ideas fall by the wayside because of a lack of consensus?
Keeping up with the latest trend can often seem like a weak business strategy. But in these times of partnership driven business, there can be a price to be paid for falling too far behind the competition.
I’ve attended a lot of conferences and rarely have I witnessed a shift in the very nature of a conference to the degree that Dreamforce has. And that shift is important -- because it represents the broader change in thinking about the role of customer focused technology in a winning business model.
If you’re a leader in a business (or an owner), there’s always an underlying sense that there needs to be more focus in your operations. At the same time, the last thing you need is to get caught up in a deep planning cycle that ties up your team and worse may not yield a concrete result.