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Stories by Ranjay Gulati and James B. Oldroyd

Reader's choice: The quest for customer focus

More and more CEOs are hoping a stronger customer focus will be the antidote to escalating commoditisation pressures. But as the frustrations of myriad companies can attest, getting closer to customers is not just a matter of installing a better CRM system or of finding a more effective way to measure and increase customer satisfaction levels. Tools and technology are important.
But they're not enough. That's because getting close to customers is not so much a problem the IT or marketing department needs to solve as a journey that the whole organisation needs to make. The companies that do it well follow a surprisingly similar path, passing the same milestones and, in many cases, struggling with the same problems. The journey can be arduous, it takes a long time - years, not months - but there are rewards all along the way. And for those organisations that have gone the distance, the payoff is remarkable.

Written by Ranjay Gulati and James B. Oldroyd30 April 05 22:00