Member Since: 25th Jul 2008
Managing Director PDO Associates
4th Mar 2009
With the cooling economy, companies have traded growth for cost-savings including substantial employee layoffs, and are focused on increasing the efficiency of existing business processes and resources, which in itself, could be argued as being a prudent move.
However, most companies don't have their budgets aligned with the customer-centric journey which increases the risk of the customer being impacted, ignored or alienated when tough business decisions are made during bad economic times.
In reality, these knee-jerk decisions are being fueled by what I like to refer to as “The F.U.D. Factor - Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt", which is running rampant in many of today’s organizations.
Any business leader will tell you those three words increase the cost of doing business because of the perceived need to engage in deeper discounts, more frequent discounts, by reducing customer marketing budgets and eliminating head count.
It should come as no surprise that trying to compete using old world strategies and tactics in this current environment is not the wisest path because it does not effectively address the root cause, which in many cases, is actually mismanagement of the P&L - just look at the financial services industry in the U.S.
29th Jan 2009
I agree with Jennifer Kirby's statement, "Sustainability is all about being different and retaining that difference..." The challenge for most companies is that being different requires change from the status quo including change in the corporate philosophy and culture supported by senior executives.
Most companies that have not embraced, adopted and leveraged CRM to its full capability have been caught in what I call the "Barriers of Convention" syndrome, where status quo corporate philosophies, cultures and management structures remain anchored to old world thinking, ideals and power bases.
For companies to survive in the current economy, they need to mitigate the issue of simply giving customer centricity lip service vs. having an active customer-centric philosophy, culture and actionable strategy.
Enter the role of the Chief Customer Officer. The CCO will be instrumental in helping companies to survive in the current economic downturn by championing the philosophical, functional and financial commitment to customer centricity and ensure that a focus on the customer is not the exception but the rule, as an essential competitive strategy that is especially important during an economic downturn and recession.
To ensure success, the CCO role along with the other CXO roles need to be clearly defined where customer accountability is concerned. Doing so should also help liberate companies from the siloed way of operating by tearing down the walls of the mini-empires built by traditional functions through a mandate toward a common customer objective.
Finally, the CCO will help companies align their budgets with their customer centric journey working with Finance to implement processes and technologies to view departmental accounts through a customer-centric lens, thereby mitigating the risk of the customer being impacted, ignored or alienated when tough business decisions are made.
The role of CCO is a step in the right direction toward company sustainability.