(and, no, the “D” doesn’t stand for digital!)
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, much airtime is given to the development of new technologies and their impact on businesses. Consequently, it is easy to take one’s eye off the ball and forget the basics – i.e. that the value brought to the customer should be at the heart of what drives any company.
I have previously argued that there was no such thing as an internet bank. While the internet provides a fantastic way of engaging with customers, the fundamental role of a bank and the benefit customers demand from it has not changed. Companies like Monzo and Revolut know this very well i.e. the key factor remains putting the customer and user experience at the centre of their business to drive a competitive advantage and inspire innovation. The same is true with companies like Uber, which is, first and foremost, a taxi company, who are simply using new technology to provide customers with a better taxi experience than competitors.
So, how can you ensure that your business, and its use of new technology, is pointed in the right direction? You need to ensure that you have in place a Chief Dumbing-Down Officer (CDO).
In today’s rapidly changing world the CDO has the essential task of ensuring that customer benefit is kept as the key focal point of the business, and avoiding the easy trap that many fall into – letting new innovation become the main driving force behind a company’s agenda, rather than the customer.
So, who fulfils this role? It may require a single champion, multiple advocates, or, even better, a leadership team where every member is working towards this common goal. No matter who is appointed as CDO, if they adhere to the following principles, they will be on the right track:
• To provide a ruthlessly simple Customer Promise to drive all activity.
– Developing a straightforward competitive statement that all employees easily understand. For example, Volvo prides itself on ensuring that the customer’s safety is at the heart of everything they do.
• Make it easy for the entire organisation to deliver on the Customer Promise.
– Communication – ensuring everyone fully understands it.
– Tools – ensuring all departments are equipped to deliver.
– Ambition – setting goals that teams can achieve.
– Recruitment – recruiting the right people.
– Organisation – organising for the customer’s convenience, not your own.
As they used to say at Procter and Gamble – “the customer doesn’t care about you and your product, they care about what it does for them”.
Hamish Taylor:- With a CV that the London Times described as “takes some beating”, Hamish Taylor progressed from academic scholarships and sporting success to become a multi award-winning CEO. His career has taken him from International consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble, consultancy firm Price Waterhouse and British Airways to become CEO of the channel tunnel railway Eurostar, and then CEO of Sainsbury’s Bank … all before he was 40! In all cases, he left behind a record of significant business growth triggered by a willingness to challenge the normal way of doing things – so much so that his advice is now sought by companies all over the world in many different industries. In the past 5 years alone, he has presented in over 45 countries and he is widely recognised as a world leading expert on “Innovation”, “Brand Management” and “how to put the customer at the centre of your business”.The Inspired Leaders Network even gave him the title of “master thief” due to his record of stealing ideas from one environment to use in another
To book Hamish (or any other speaker) for your event contact JLA here