12 Jan Jump-start Your Company’s Growth with 3 C’s
By Jerry Shrair
Can you imagine a company where every single employee speaks a totally different language? Have you ever felt like you’ve worked in this kind of corporate Tower of Babel?
It might be easy to simply laugh this off as typical corporate confusion but it’s no laughing matter to your customers. It trickles down to them as confusing messages, inconsistent behavior and broken promises.
It’s certainly no laughing matter to your shareholders. They’ve hired you to lay the groundwork for profitable and enduring growth– in large part by building a loyal customer franchise.
Today’s consumers are not naturally loyal
Consumers are now highly informed, easily frustrated and very unforgiving. At any given moment they are ripe for seduction by competitors who are determined to pirate your treasure.
Jump-starting next year’s sales results and defending your hard-won customer franchise will take more than just believing that everyone in your company is aligned on messages, strategies and tactics.
Your organization must clarify one unified message, communicate with one unified voice and coordinate their actions as one unified team
For simplicity let’s call these the 3 C’s:
What are your sales and marketing teams telling customers about your products and services? Are both teams consistently using the same clear message?
Listen carefully to customers and prospects. Are they understanding the message that you are trying to tell them?
Listen carefully to what your customers are saying about the competition. Are you seeing your competition in the same way?
Use these insights to clarify your set of brand “promises”.
The litmus test: customers find your set of brand “promises” to be believable, compelling and differentiated from the competition.
Communicate this set of powerful brand “promises” to the entire company. You must make sure that this communication effort succeeds beyond the sales and marketing teams and is syndicated throughout the organization.
People need to really understand it and embrace it, not just hear it
Importantly, it must also be communicated to, and embraced by, each and every partner, supplier and vendor that works with you in the service of bringing your products to market.
More than features and benefits — your brand “promises” are the story of what your company is the provider of (think: Nike is the provider of sports excellence, Disney is the provider of magic).
You are now ready to activate the brand “promises” that you have made to your customers. This means bringing them to life at every single customer touch point.
Are you coordinating your messages, your strategies and your tactics at every customer point?
Does every member of the team know exactly how they will bring your brand “promises” to life at the touch point they are responsible for?
Have you developed a metric for each customer touch point to understand the extent to which you are succeeding?
Have you identified a measurement tool to track the movement of those metrics over time (up and down)?
Customer touch point metrics and measurement tools will allow you to learn, flex and adapt your brand “promises” and company behavior over time — essential skills for cultivating happy and loyal customers.
After all is said and done, isn’t customer loyalty the foundation of profitable and enduring growth?
Jerry Shrair is Founder & CEO of Inventive Problem Solving