Are You Stuck?

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Organizations tend to be entities that are difficult to move, to change directions or to make significant leaps…much like a cow!

This image was inspired by a friend who helps people who are “stuck” address their problems and move on (www.LivBig.com). He was a recent student in my class at UCSDx, despite his maturity and business sense. Doesn’t this cow look as if it is in pain?

Since the class, I have thought about my friend’s business model as applied to my clients: for how many of them is their pain the fact that they are stuck? I would guess this is true for many of them. They have the same customers, the same data from customer satisfaction surveys and they are having difficulty moving the numbers.

A couple of my clients have engaged me to help them see things differently. Where to start? …by talking to the Customers! For both of these clients, we are listening to customers describe their pains and what is getting in the way of making progress, not just with my clients but in their business world at large. We are in the process of rethinking the customer satisfaction surveys and who the competition is.

In one case, top management is getting bored with what they are seeing in the survey results. Management is even thinking about terminating the customer research efforts, because nothing new was being learned! My client used one of my videos (shown below) to justify continuing the expense. In the video, I tell the story of spending $20K to $30K on customer research and reaping $3,000,000 a year in savings as a benefit, while customer satisfaction went up!

Ask yourself: Am I stuck? Is my company stuck? Do I need to revamp the way I see the customers in the emerging marketplace? More importantly, have I learned how the customers view us in the new marketplace (outside looking in)? That is a tough perspective to acquire! To be successful, you must be able to view your business as if you were a customer looking in. Why should they do business with you? How does working with you help them get more business? How easy are you to do business with? Can you be easily replaced, or can the need for your services dissappear?

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