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What does the CEO need to know about customers?

We can learn a lot from our customers. In fact, businesses that listen to their customers and act on their insights vastly outperform the market. Each one of us, in any job, can benefit by using insights from our customers.

But what about the CEO?

What are the most important things a CEO should know about their customers? As I pondered this question, I decided to turn to some experts. My colleagues are experienced customer strategists that have worked with all kinds of people and companies.
I posed this question to them, “What do you think the CEO needs to know about their customers?” Here are the top five responses:

How do we stack up?

The CEO needs to have a good understanding of how their organization performs against the competition. However, too often, company leaders trust their own instincts instead of turning to their customers. The customer’s viewpoint is the one that matters.

How loyal are our customers?
Strong customer loyalty is a key ingredient for sustainable growth. Understanding this helps a CEO pinpoint how much revenue is at risk and where there is the most potential for growth in the customer base.

What’s driving customer loyalty?

If a CEO can understand what has the most influence on customer loyalty, they can be much more effective in allocating resources. With resources at a minimum, executives must be laser-focused on initiatives with the most bottom-line impact.

What are the changing needs of my customers?

In today’s business environment the needs of customers are rapidly changing. CEOs need to carefully listen to their customers to anticipate the products, services, and innovations that will meet their current and future needs.

What about my key customers?

Almost every organization has key customers or accounts that deliver a disproportionate amount of revenue. CEOs must have a handle on key customers – a system for retaining and growing these important relationships.

There were others, but these items topped the list. Clearly they are all important. They all drive growth, and all can be achieved through effective customer strategies.

Patrick Gibbons
Principal, SVP

About the Author

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons

As Principal and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Walker, Gibbons has global responsibility for definition, branding, and promotion of the company and its solutions. Gibbons has published and/or contributed to a number of articles, papers, and blogs on customer intelligence topics and has a regular column in CRM Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences, and has produced a series of educational events for customer experience leaders.

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