First are the companies that make bad profits and are still in business in spite of themselves. They may have a monopoly, they may have an oligopoly, they may have been around for years, they may have a government mandate that keeps them in business. They force people to pay with long-term contracts, hidden fees and short-term incentives. They don’t care about your business, they care about the invoiced amount, the automatic withdrawal, the credit card swipe, that’s all. The goal is to make more by doing less.
The second are the companies who are trying to grow. Companies trying to grow can’t afford having people spreading bad word-of-mouth. These companies care about what every customer thinks of them and tries to continuously reinvent themselves to exceed customer expectations again and again. They want to know when they screw up, so they can fix it. Because how else will you grow?
If you know customers are unhappy after they’ve signed a contract or bought what you’re selling, do you think your company is setting itself up for long term growth?
Hint: Not all organization need to grow or have happy customers, that’s of course if external pressure doesn’t force the entire industries to change.
The Ultimate Question is one of those books you want every manager, CEO, VP or anyone remotely interested in making their business better to read. It really will change the way you think about customer feedback and the absolute best way to measure how you’re doing, not financially but by what your customers think about you. For decades we’ve had financial instruments to measure how a company was doing financially but never a gage on what your customers actually thought of you. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a method of using quantitative measurements to understand what your customers think of you in comparison to past results and even other competitors in the market place. Read more
In the summer before my final semester of University, we had a Business Students Society retreat one Saturday. I’ll never forget the presentation we heard over lunch. The guest speaker, at the time was a finance prof from the faculty, Mr. Lorne Schnell. The message was based a lot on the book Built to Last (1997) by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras. It was about building a foundation, digging deep down to the core of why you’re doing what you’re doing (why were we on the business students society, and what did we want to create). Start with a foundation, set BHAGS and ensure you get the right people on the bus (from Collins next book, Good to Great).
After that presentation, it led us to the create of our motto for the year, inspire. It turned out to be a changing and very rewarding year on the BSS. Read more
We started our business because ____________ and we will standout in our industry because we believe ____________ . (Start With Why by Simon Sinek)
We will create ____________ market space in our industry to secure our Blue Ocean. (Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim) Read more
Great question. I think businesses should be skeptical, lot of bad ones out there. If a consultant (or consulting company) can’t justify the value they will provide, then you shouldn’t hire them. And not every business needs a consultant, but you never know until you talk to one. Read more