Whether your company is public or private, members of your board are probably eager to take a more strategic view of the business. In fact, a recent McKinsey report cited by ChiefExecutive.net showed that 52% of board members want to spend more time on strategy.
Being actively involved in the future direction of the company is a sign of a highly engaged board of directors. But when these directors think of strategy, what’s on their minds? Are they considering product strategy, markets and competitors? Technology, security and other hot button items? What about the impact of customer experience on brand equity and sales?
While your board may be concerned about a select group of top customers – especially any that can make or break your business – odds are that most of your directors probably assume customer experience is an operational issue beyond their purview.
Experience Drives Growth
In reality, the quality of a customer experience is a potent ingredient in any recipe for corporate success. For B2B companies and consumer brands alike, connecting brand promises with the reality of customer experience contributes to:
- Improved customer loyalty and lower churn
- Greater brand awareness and reputation
- Competitive differentiation and market advantage
- Stronger brand preference and shorter sales cycles
- More referrals and higher Net Promoter Scores (NWS)
- Better quality job candidates
- Increased employee engagement and retention
As companies work to shore up their competitive position, develop strong succession plans, manage costs and improve profitability, customer experience becomes a critical facet of strategic vision.
The downstream impact of delivering positive or negative experiences for buyers is something that can’t be ignored. Customer experiences that build brand equity are as integral to top line growth as they are to expense management and cost controls.
Board Discussions on Strategy Should Include Customer Experience
When it comes down to it, no amount of strategic planning is effective without elegant execution. And successful execution is ultimately about customers: are they satisfied, do they perceive high value, are changes and initiatives helping them or hurting?
All these questions speak to the issue of what it’s like to be your customer. Does the experience and value provided align with (or exceed) expectations? If not, competitors will see the missed opportunity and quickly seize it for themselves.
So the next time your board starts to talk about strategy, ask them what customers think. If they don’t know, encourage them to engage in some due diligence to understand where your business stands today and how strategic focus on customer experience can improve brand equity, revenue and profit margins.