founder of naked leader
Naked Leader Week – 268 – Monday 28 July 2008
The Forgotten word, beginning with “C”
“How do we ensure we avoid repeating the same mistakes, we made,
last time we hit a cold economic climate?
The forgotten word…
Business is not about making money, it is about delighting the customer – making money is the result.
In the past…
Convenience over Customers
- Over the last 15 years organisations have often put their own structures, methods and processes – the way they do things – before the needs of their customers. Their ways of working have become inflexible and incapable of coping with their customer’s changing needs and increasing demands. The problem here is that while how we operate as an organisation is important, however it is not how our customers judge us. Their opinion of us is decided not by what we do, but by what they think we do. It has not helped us that too-often our internal processes and procedures are used as a reason (excuse), for not providing great customer service.
- As organisations have become more complex, so the need for order and structure has increased, so we have an idea of who does what. Unfortunately, the focus has often been on what makes an organisation work efficiently i.e. knowing how to do things, as opposed to working effectively i.e. knowing what to do.
- During this Information Age, with most knowledge being held centrally, it is at the centre where most decisions were being made, at the expense of frontline decision-making freedom, and co-ordination of customer service. This has had two major and devastating consequences – people providing a service directly to customers cannot, or feel they cannot, make critical decisions, and, just as the Marketing department is sending out a brochure to encourage an existing customer to buy more, the Accounts department is pummelling them for payment of an outstanding invoice.
So, this week – within the final part of the formula for guaranteed success – Do It!
Customers over Convenience
- Your customers are why you exist. Without them, you have no business, or organisation. They must be top of your priorities, in the eyes, minds and actions of all of your people. Your number one aim is to attract, delight and therefore retain your customers.
- Ensure your organisational processes, charts and roles reflect this. If your structure is vertical, put customers at the top. If it is horizontal, put customers at each end.
- Put decision-making power where it belongs – with the people serving your customers. If you are a global organisation (if you have a web-site then you are) allow for local services to adapt according to different cultures, and customer needs.
OK – so, what are you, personally, now going to do?
Something, or nothing?
With my love and best wishes