Achieving Competitive Pre-eminence in the Customer & Social Age


The Age of the Customer may be a lot easier for traditionally-minded executives and leaders to grasp. But the Age of Social — its twin — is even more ruthless. Both, technology and culturally driven.

Attracting customers and generating profit today is only the beginning of business success.

Indeed Forrester Research has confirmed that in order to get Customer Service right (bonus video at the bottom of the article), retain, and win customers, organizational core elements — esp., culture — must change. Translation: Have aligning People + Process + Anytime Client Care culture in place.

This is why writing some time before the Forrester Research finding, I not only stressed the same point but also argued in The Ultimate Business Strategy: Nailing Customer Experience & Customer Satisfaction that the right customers want you to survive and thrive as well. At the end of the day.

And if you're careless, you become just another sellout that never got the necessary balance right, and quickly, if not inevitably, go out of business. Having built a rigid brand with a business model insufficiently responsive to cultural demands of this Customer and Social Age. Of which Digital Transformation, including mass business migration to The Cloud, by the way, is a part. Further, if, as Gartner also predicts, 95% of Cloud Security incidents by 2020 will be the customer’s fault, are you building a top-notch Customer Journey culture? (all images hyperlinked)We know what a business exists to do. But with my lawyer and strategic thinking cap on, I prefer to broadly cast disciplined institutions, reputable brands and even governments in the same net.

The follow-up question being: To what extent is yours living up to it's full potential?The hyperlinked image (above) provides newer insight. Moreover, the same reasons explain why I wrote the older Are You Doing Customer Experience Innovation Right which underscores the importance of flexibility and culture in this twin age we're speaking of.

That is why Vusi Thembekwayo (in the feature video) crystallizes my obsession with flexibility, agility and culture as keys not only to business and leadership success but also, human development.

Because guess what, democratic as well as autocratic governments face the same challenges. As I argued in How To Nail Customer Obsession, Competition & Your USP, where I include another vital age working in confluence with the two mentioned above: The Age of Leverage.You see, every time you're told something “cannot” be done — that some service “can't” be rendered because of cited laws, protocol, tradition or regulations what you're really hearing is the only proof necessary, that people DO build culture. And that if you really want a better outcome or experience, the obvious, even if challenging solution is to figure out how to put the right people in place to buildexecute and deliver your desired experience. For example, what proven techniques and/or tools are you using to get closer to your customers?

Great CX (Customer Experience) and User Experience (UX) begins with talented experts in place who understand the difference, how the two work in confluence, and how we go from one to the other.

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In case you're thinking of skipping Kerry Bodine's presentation above, you'll miss not only her highly informative insight into UX and CX success stories but also, the 6 Disciplines of Forrester's Customer Experience Maturity Model. Namely:

① Strategy

② Customer Understanding

③ Design

④ Measurement

⑤ Governance

⑥ Culture

Further, astute businesses, organizations and political systems like China's — as you'll appreciate momentarily below — who have defied gravity view nailing Customer Experience and Customer Satisfaction delivery as an ultimate business, political and strategic survival strategy that requires great Customer Experience Innovation.

And it is this strategic insight that underpins Vusi's RRRC above, —which I prefer to rationalize as:

① Relevance

② Convenience

③ Responsiveness, and

④ Reliability

Together, the building blocks of Trust, and originally based on the The Four Essentials of a Profitable Customer Experience (see pg. 4 in particular). It is an in depth study of the “The Customer Experience EDGE” or 4 Customer Experience Essentials.In politics, the customer is the voter.

Or in repressive albeit capitalistic China, people — consumers — with seemingly infinite access to affordable products and services. And whether you silence the word “product” in David Ogilvy's quote below or leave it intact, the strategic play, appeal and unique selling point or UVP of the CCP's (China Communist Party)expounded in an unrelated article — begins to make sense:To transcend this increasingly brutal reality, which even NATO acknowledges, is to CONSISTENTLY execute around a consistently tested and proven People + Process + Anytime Client Care “Ask. Listen. Solve.” Model popularized by Commerce Bank. And with a user base of over 21,000 global clients supported driving cross country or flying transcontinental to spend entire weekends, sometimes 2-5 hours or days with, just to SOLVE a problem — having ASKED and carefully LISTENED — this is how, and from whence I personally prefer, and derive the term: Customer Care.

Failure to do so is failure of imagination à la how the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election was won/lost.

And here, Forrester Research is right: “Business is won or lost based on levels of speed and flexibility” plus technological agility or lack thereof, brought to today's competitive marketplace: This is why even a casual study of losers in virtually every domain today reveals how a failure to holistically appreciate the forgoing is leaving money on the table. Or in President Obama's case, an entire legacy. This, in essence, should be Competitive Advantage 101 for any company, startup, institution or government determined to win the Social and Customer Age.

Lastly, those who restlessly seek to dominate the competition and devour market share while consistently disrupting themselves through Customer Experience Innovation — see How To Achieve Strategic Pre-eminence in Business (where “clients” is preferred) — take time to understand the competitive landscape while simultaneously nailing Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction.

A video of the latter completes this article below.

The former begins with mastering Michael Porter's Five Forces Model. Contact me here.

○ ○ ○High Impact Strategic Business Sense Series (3M)(Follow the Dove)


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Breakthrough Ideas for March 2017 (2 of 3) | Bonus Below




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