Customer Relevance: How Relevant is Your Business to Customers?
How relevant is your business to customers? Do customers see your organization as a leader in innovation, quality, and service? Is your company team really a team, always staffed with professionals delivering solutions? Does customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics align with top ranking competitors?
Ask your customers what drivers influence their purchasing decisions. Too many times, companies become irrelevant to customers because of inconsistent leadership, culture, and innovation. Also, it’s not price that kills the notion of relevancy, it’s the quality of the organization.
Quality organizations have three things in common, effective leadership, culture, and communication. Unfortunately one doesn’t code their way to leadership, nor interpersonal relationships. Technology is simply a mechanism for efficiency, data management, and robotic tasks. It’s not a substitute for leadership, TEAM, or collaborative communication.
Recently I was with a manufacturing client discussing his suppliers. One supplier to the organization was under review. According to the client purchasing agent, the supplier had incorrectly assumed the relationship was in good standing, and also assumed service levels met expectations.
We also learned this supplier had not introduced innovation for some period of time. Another concern was poor communication from various departments within the supplier.
Interestingly, the products this supplier offered were priced competitively, but the aggregate value of the supplier had diminished. The supplier had slowly become irrelevant.
We suggest the aggregate value of the organization is determined by its leadership. Every department and employee in the company is responsible for customer satisfaction and relevancy.
Pivot to Greater Relevancy
If a company plans to pivot and grow its customer relevancy, leadership should understand the truth about the organization. Effective discovery processes use organizational assessments and customer surveys. They discover real facts and evidence regarding leadership, company culture, and customer expectations.
Relevant companies develop actionable strategies for improvement. Companies destined for irrelevancy do nothing. They file assessment intelligence away as toxic, never to be seen again.
Effectively pivoting from irrelevancy requires an actionable strategy. Actionable strategy is one that is well crafted and executable. It influences and Upskills both leadership and employees.
Your culture is your brand.” Culture influences the aggregate value of the brand. Positive cultures embrace communication, collaboration, and interpersonal relationships. Positive cultures are also focused on continuous improvement in job skills and career development.
Relevant companies are finely tuned to their cultural metrics. Cultural improvement delivers greater productivity, employee retention, and customer satisfaction.
Culture is also an indicator of company business practices. Employees are a transmitter of culture and a direct line to establishing customer perception.
Diversity and inter-company career development work to grow relevancy. Quality cultures take better care of customer relationships. Critical thinking is simply dispensed by more people.
Quality is a measurement, or perception of company products and services. Organizational quality is measurement of long term values, achievement, sustainability, and employee investment.
Relevant companies are focused on the careful balance of quality. Irrelevant companies struggle to differentiate between the two kinds of quality.
We choose our customers. We choose our risk. We choose our profit margin. Everything is a choice.
Effective organizations generally take the notion of quality to radically different destinations. The real difference is in the TEAM. Quality employees better deliver quality goods and services for a greater value.
Customers view their relationship and investment as productive and relevant. When suppliers are solely focused on product or service quality, they fail to meet customer expectations.
Relevancy is determined by the value suppliers bring in the form of innovation. Effective innovation delivers new value to the customer. It’s also an opportunity to expand the professional relationship.
Leadership and culture combined, drive the company’s ability to deliver innovation. Leaders who are out of touch with customers fail to recognize the value and importance of effective innovation.
Passive cultures are hard pressed to value innovation. They see innovative products and services as another task rather than the future.
Passive cultures are generally resistant to change. They are a major contributor to company irrelevancy. The fallacy is wages is the source of cultural passivity. The real source is leadership and expectations.
When companies cease to be relevant, customers look elsewhere. It’s simple, they are mitigating risk.
Effective leadership, culture, and communication are the fundamental source of quality. Leaders decide whether to be relevant or irrelevant. Ultimately, the competitive nature of capitalism eventually determines company status. Relevancy or perish.
Objectively speaking, it can be helpful to employ an unbiased observer to help your organization when considering cultural analysis and improvement. Oftentimes an outside, objective ally can assist in determining all sides and pieces of the puzzle, giving a honest view of culture with no play of politics.
White Paper Author
Paul Fournier is President of Tacticware Resource Group. Tacticware is a management consultancy firm offering cultural management systems, strategic planning, upSkill management/sales training, and 360 Cultural Assessments. We assist clients nationally. Learn more about transforming your business by contacting us.
Quality people do not have a color, gender, or age. We are committed to diversity and equal opportunity. We do not discriminate against racial, ethnic, and/or religious groups, older workers, women, veterans, and people with disabilities. As a matter of policy, we remain apolitical, religion neutral, and respectful of local customs.