Every CEO knows that a stronger customer focus can be the answer to many – dare I say most? – of their business challenges!
So why do so many companies continue to struggle in successfully adopting a customer-first strategy and culture?
Here are the seven main reasons why companies fail to effectively adopt a customer first strategy; which one are you struggling with the most today?
1. The CEO has stated it as a company objective but has not detailed what nor how the organisation will change
While it is essential that a customer-first strategy has a board-level sponsor, it is important that every employee understands their role in making it happen. It should not be treated as just another project for one department to complete, but as a long-term, top 3 company objective.
When this happens, every division is driven to identify how their actions will impact their customers and what part they will play in meeting this important company objective.
This is one area where the CEO can’t set it and forget it. He/she needs to be regularly informed of progress and should ask some “awkward” questions to ensure that everyone is truly embracing the objective. Without this company-wide support, the strategy will never succeed.
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A few years ago, the Business Roundtable, which is an association of over 180 CEOs leading US companies, agreed to put people before profits. They specifically said they would be:
- Delivering value to our customers.
- Investing in our employees.
- Dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers.
- Supporting the communities in which we work.
With many organisations now struggling to recover from the impact of covid-19, it is interesting to see whether they have all moved forward on these objectives.
The Business Roundtable updated their results one year later. In the summary you can read HERE they say:
One year later – through a period of unprecedented crises – companies have demonstrated a commitment to the values embedded in the Statement.
These numbers should be sufficient to convince every CEO that a customer-first strategy is worth investing in. In fact, it is an essential strategy every CEO would be wise to adopt, no matter what industry they are in. So what are you or your CEO waiting for? Did I miss a different problem you are currently facing? What other challenges have you faced or are now facing in adopting a customer-first strategy? Please let me know by adding your comments below.