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The Critical Balance: Reflecting on Time Allocation in Business

In the hustle and bustle of managing a business, it's essential to assess where our focus lies. How much time do we allocate to different facets of our operations? A common trend suggests that approximately 50% of our time is dedicated to costs, 40% to processes, and a mere 10% to contemplating our customers.

However, this distribution poses a significant concern. While costs and processes are undeniably crucial, customers are the bedrock of our business. They are the reason we have costs and processes to begin with, making it imperative to give them the attention they deserve.

Often, the misconception arises that customers require minimal consideration as they seemingly take care of themselves. They purchase our products, rarely complain, and continue along the buyer's journey seamlessly. This assumption, however, is a perilous oversight.

Our dependence on customers is unparalleled. To address this, regular check-ins and the use of frameworks become essential. An anecdote from our experience serves as a stark reminder of the repercussions of neglecting customer satisfaction.

During a presentation of customer satisfaction results to a client, the feedback was far from positive. Issues with deliveries, complaint resolutions, innovation, and overall customer care were apparent. As we delivered these findings, we faced a cold reception from the CEO who questioned why, despite customer dissatisfaction, the company boasted its best financial performance.

This uncomfortable moment highlighted the dichotomy between internal success metrics and external customer sentiment. Unfortunately, we weren't granted much time with the client and left wondering if there was a crucial point we had missed. Subsequent events revealed that the company, once thriving financially, experienced a significant downturn in market share, financial troubles, and a change in leadership.

This cautionary tale emphasises the need for continuous customer engagement. Our website offers 34 frameworks specifically designed to address customer satisfaction. Below, we highlight four frameworks that our aforementioned client could have found invaluable:

1.      Gap analysis (to idenitfy areas of weaknesses in the eyes of customers)

2.      Customer experience (to ensure a great delivery of customer experience)

3.      Importance/Performance matrix (to improve the effectiveness of marketing programs)

4.      Customer activity cycle (to lock in customers and give them more value)

In conclusion, the success of any business is intricately tied to its customers. Allocating time and resources to understand and meet their needs is not just a business strategy; it is a fundamental necessity for sustained growth and prosperity.


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