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I will get to that sometime tomorrow?

What is the primary difference between your company and the global market leader in your industry?  If you are, in fact, the global market leader in your industry, what separates you from all those that are gunning for you?  I’m sure there are a variety of thoughts and opinions and debatable responses to these stated questions, but one thing will hold true regardless, if you aren’t linking the voice of your customer into your primary business objectives, you are not one of those on top.  What separates those companies from the rest of the pack?

They get it. 

They understand the basic fundamentals and the complex execution & analysis needed to become global powerhouses, industry leaders, organizations that exemplify greatness.

In my line of work, I meet regularly with corporations that create, support and sell products and services that, many times, you and I are very familiar with as consumers, some of their products/services are used by us, our employer, our family, friends, competitors, colleagues, etc. on a daily basis.  These are usually companies with customer-focused leadership, impressive market share and very clear customer related growth objectives in mind.  The companies I speak with usually realize there is an issue, a serious issue that is impacting the overall shareholder value of their organization and at the end of the day; they separate themselves from each other by those who execute and those who don’t see the sense of urgency around the matter.

That leads to the general point of this blog – How can organizations NOT put a sense of urgency around analyzing the voice of their customer and expect to achieve the greatness that so few corporations ever make it to?  I’m talking about the elite group that all others strive to be like.  I wonder if it is related to…

• We can’t get out of our own way
• We have issues with execution
• We change our strategies like the weather
• We are too big and bureaucratic to move with any nimbleness and effectiveness

I challenge you to share your perspective on what causes this “bottleneck” in the good to great process.  I have no expectation of these thoughts changing anyone’s perspective and my guess is that most will read this and think “Man, I’m glad that’s not us!” But know that if you made it to this point in the blog, one of three things has just occurred:

1. You realize that you are fortunate enough to be part of one of these elite organizations that has a true understanding of the impact of your customer on your business.
2. You have just left the denial stage and reached the resentment/anger stage
3. You just just escaped the monotony of your life for 60 seconds.

Are your customers saying, “They get it," when they speak about your company? If not, you should probably get to that sometime tomorrow.

Thoughts?

Michael Good
Vice President
Walker Information

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