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Are You A CEO Capitalising On Customer Relationships?

by Susan Radojevic April 4, 2012

A few weeks ago I was watching a Harvard Business Review Webinar about “Customer Relationships” with Fred Reichheld, a ‘guru’ on creating loyalty, and Rob Markey, a customer strategy expert. Both are with Bain & Company. Bain has been studying ‘loyalty leaders’ (organizations) for the past 20 years. What they found is that loyalty leaders achieve faster revenue growth, twice as much as their industry average, while spending 15% less!

Hearing this, it’s no wonder, 88% of the Global Chief Executive Officers interviewed in the 2010 IBM Study, ranked “Getting Closer to Customers” as their #1 priority over the next 5 years.

So let me ask you, where do customer relationships fit on your agenda? Do you view customer relationships as a complex or simple issue to deal with?

In the Knowledge and Digital Age we have access to a plethora of books, articles, blogs, webinars, consultants, projects, etc. and yet according to Reichheld, roughly 35 organizations worldwide (Apple, Lego and Intuit to name a few) are managing their customer relationships effectively for both customers and shareholders.

During the webinar a telecommunications CEO acknowledged it is no trivial task. “As a major player in our market, customer intimacy is most important to us, but this is easier to say than do”.

Like everything else in this more complex business environment, getting closer to the customer requires new approaches and a new mindset. At SBVCG Inc, our role is to help organizations increase value for all stakeholders. And more often than not, we find, CEOs feel that the harder they push to increase shareholder value, the more they become tempted to make decisions that actually may hurt their shareholders.

Did Peter Drucker get it right when he said, years ago, the primary purpose of a business is to acquire and keep customers?

If that is true, then why did it take so long for banks to understand that opening at 10:00 a.m. and closing at 3:00 p.m. was not good for customers or shareholders?

And when I was trying to install Microsoft software a few weeks ago, I was told that their technical customer support department closed at 7:00 p.m. and is not open on weekends. In a world that’s connected 24/7; can I be the only person installing software on weekends?

If you have more questions than answers our next Corner Office Complexity Series Episode is coming soon! In this episode titled: How To Build More Effective Customer Relationships we will explore a few key ingredients to help you: 

  • Define real customer relationships;
  • Integrate collaboration to connect and inform; and
  • Turn customer relationship complexity into a dynamic supercharged competitive advantage that will fuel sustainable long term customer and shareholder value.

This post was written by our Guest Blogger, Jean LeTourneau.To view the original post from The Peregrine Agency blog, click here.