While the stock markets appear to be somewhat stagnant, the Walker Index has continued to climb, reaching an all-time high.
The Walker Index is a hypothetical stock index comprised of Walker clients. The Walker Index is a decent proxy for an index of customer-focused companies, companies that really want to use the voice of the customer as an important management lever.
Over the past 10 years, the Walker Index has generated a compounded annual growth rate of 11.52% compared to just 0.88% for the S&P 500. Why the difference? There are probably many reasons, but here is a couple to consider:
1. Focus on Outcomes. Companies in the Walker Index listen to their customers with the appropriate outcomes in mind. These companies are focused on driving success for their customers because they know that will result in the right outcomes for them as well. Help your customers, help yourself. Many companies in the S&P 500 are focused on keeping score, not on taking the right actions to drive results.
2. Customer Choices. You’ve probably heard this more than you care to, in part due to a dramatic lack of sincerity, “We know you have a choice of airlines when you travel and we thank you for choosing us.” But customers do have a choice, even if that choice is doing nothing. When the economy is sputtering (and it still is), customers get choosier. Companies that are focused on helping customers meet their challenges will more likely win over those focused on making a customer a “promoter” or improving some other score for the sake of the score.
There are many lessons to be learned from the Walker Index, but none is more important than learning to listen to your customers for the right reason—to create world class outcomes for your customers and your company.