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Motivation for staying customer-focused in a tough economy

I subscribe to the Simple Truth’s website  and I get stuff from them every couple of days. Some may say that subscribing to and reading this stuff is a little corny, but I find that I can always use a good dose of motivational affirmation, especially if you are like me and you are trying to make a difference for your customers, employees and the world in general. In one of their emails this week, they started off with this quote…

 "No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined."

-Harry E. Fosdick

This quote seemed to be worthy of a mantra for those of us who try to drive customer-focused strategy within our organizations. Notice in the quote that the author actually uses the word “focused” to describe how to turn human behavior into something “great” and then compares it to the metaphors for energy with “confined” and light with “tunneled." I think this is a great model for us to think about as customer advocates.

I think that the majority of rational business people (not all, but most) believe in being customer-focused. Furthermore, through our work with clients, we see many organizations putting incredible amounts of effort into achieving a customer-focused culture. The problem we typically run across is not so much should a company strive to be more customer-focused or should they resource the effort, but rather, how to “confine” or “tunnel” that human energy to create something great.

Through our Walker Index, our Walker Loyalty Reports, and our work with numerous clients, we have proven difinitively that companies who continuously strive to improve their customer relationships outperform and have greater sustainability than companies that do not.   Additionally, there are models, diagnostics, and prescriptions for how to design and build your customer-focused culture and achieve this level of greatness in your customer-focus.

In future blog entries, I will delve more deeply into the aspects of these tried and true blueprints for putting the customer at the center of your business strategy. For today’s purposes, however, just take a moment to reflect and consider how you think of your role as a customer advocate. Are you disciplined? Are you “confining” your organization’s stream and gas to drive it forward? Are you “tunneling” your Niagra to create light?   

About the Author

Steve Walker

Steve Walker

As the third generation of Walkers to lead the privately-held research and consulting firm, Steve is focused on creating shareholder value for Walker’s clients through customer intelligence and customer strategies. Steve was named president of Walker in 1994 and added the CEO title in 1996. Then, in 2006, Steve was named chairman of the board.

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