PKF Texas – The Entrepreneur’s Playbook™: Your Customers and the Bottom Line

by | Oct 17, 2008 | PKF Texas - The Entrepreneur's Playbook®

Note: Running Fridays in FromGregsHead.comis a continuing series of tips brought to you by Greg Price. These run Saturday mornings during the BusinessMaker’s Radio Show on KPRC 950AM. Audio files can be found on the Entrepreneur’s Playbook page of the PKF Texas website.

Business managers worldwide believe that their company’s number one business issue is customer relationships. According to a recent Forrester Consulting study, there’s a huge gap between how business managers rate customer relationships, and how much they’re willing to spend to support them. Their study asked the questions:

  1. If customer relationships are so important, why don’t more companies make them their top IT spending priority?
  2. Why don’t more managers see the connection between investing in human capital and strengthening customer relationships?
  3. Why is innovation perceived largely as a cost-reduction tactic, rather than a key strategic priority?

The conclusions raised by the study were:

  1. Lack of discipline. Many organizations don’t have corporation-wide programs, leadership, metrics in place, or even a clear customer experience strategy. Instead, they have siloed customer experiences, industry tunnel vision, and inward-focused product development.
  2. Path of least resistance. Most project teams find it easier to build a business case for technology and human capital investments that result in operational efficiency than to justify improvements in customer relationships. It is easier to calculate the ROI of shortened cycle times or reallocated headcount, for example, than it is to quantify an increase in customer satisfaction or customer retention.
  3. Shades of CRM. Many business and IT executives do not feel that the business benefits achieved with CRM investments meet their expectations, or that they are able to quickly realize value from the applications.

So how do we turn this thing around?

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