The Journey to Customer Purpose: optimising business effectiveness
Over the past few years, we have seen opinion emanating from organisations around the world espousing that ‘the customer is king’. However, the customer’s role has taken on a significance that is beyond the capability of most organisations today. Customer demand has increased not only because of customers’ own search for choice and diversity but also because of the need for support due to deficiencies of existing products and service. Organisations respond to this increased demand in a number of ways, commoditising their services to offer high-volume, low-cost alternatives where efficiency is driven, but often with a cost to service effectiveness. These organisations become caught in a downward cycle and in order to survive are faced with the reality of competing on price and searching for more volume. Most organisations faced with this position explore low-cost labour sources for customer support; however, the origins of customer demand have not dissipated, because they are caused by the service organisation itself or by the customer’s desire for increased value. Whatever the solution, therefore, the problems of increased demand remain unless the sources of preventable demand are removed rather than institutionalised.
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