Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Customer Satisfaction and the CEO
We hear a lot about companies who strive to earn repeat business by exceeding customer expectations and delivering tremendous value. Still I wonder. Here are four Chief Executives. Tell me if you think they have happy and loyal customers.
Hard Goods Manufacturer & Company – Mighty Kwinn, CEO bends over backwards to listen to his customers. He has a panel of representatives on whom he depends for feedback. The meetings are routinely held in warm places with plenty of time for golf, deep sea fishing and/or tourism. The chosen ombudsmen for the industry are delighted to participate even if, at times, they aren’t sure action is really taken based on the intense discussions that cover price, product, service and ways improve everything from order processing to training support. “Be a good listener,” says Kwinn.
Four States and Texas GC - Sun-tzu, CEO believes winning is warfare. His family-owned high-growth company is looking to earn “clients for life” among the Fortune 500 elite. He believes the way to win is to excel in the trenches with a tough-as-nails hard-bid process. Furthermore, the company has a can-do culture of dedicated workers who will do whatever it takes to deliver on-time, under budget and work safely. Sadly, the margins are always pretty thin due to constant competitive bidding and employee burn out is common. Customer surveys reveal they are pleased with the work. This CEO doesn’t want to invest in any more research. Sun-tzu says “Kill the competition on price. Knock yourself out to deliver.”
Integrated A/E/C - The Top Kat CEO leads his company with flair. Customers like doing business with Top Kat because he has resources that allows him to offer full service from site selection and development all the way to financing and marketing. Top Kat is big and wants to work with others who think big. Top Kat want to “Run with the big dogs and be one.”
Builder of Hospitals, Inc. – John Doe, CEO is an engineer who is convinced he can bludgeon the average healthcare administrator with logic. His company offers a single source design and construction method and you assume no risk until you agree with the proposed solution. An occasional hospital executive might be embarrassed at having mismanaged the process of planning the design and construction of their facility, but the Doe team is ready to come to the rescue. “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door,” he thinks.
Could it be that: Kwinn isn't really listening? Sun-tzu is doing battle at the expense of building relationships and isn't driving for the right things? Top Kat may never really be a Big Dog and thereby fall short in the long run? Doe is completely inflexible with regard to the solution he provides and is perceived as insensitivity?