Adapting to a customer-led economy is a significant challenge for companies. Time and again our survey revealed that it is the top- performing businesses—those that are beating their peers already—that are pioneering change. Companies that want to kick-start or accelerate their response to this fundamental shift in the business landscape need to act on the following key points:
(1) Lead from the top
Success in the customer-led economy demands leadership from the top. The best-performing companies have made success in this area a core goal, with their CEO taking significant personal responsibility.
(2) Move fast
The customer-led economy is evolving rapidly. The best-performing companies are responding today. Nearly nine in ten are investing already. The rest risk being left behind.
(3) Be omnivorous with technology
The technologies that enable firms to connect better with customers, employees and partners are most effective when they are deployed in a unified way. The best-performing companies are not waiting to see “which approach works”—they are investing widely and coherently.
(4) Get employees involved
In a customer-led world, engagement is part of everyone’s job. Don’t leave it to those with “customer service” in their job title. The best- performing companies are connecting all employees in the effort to understand and delight customers.
(5) Bring partners into the conversation
Technologies that connect a company with its partners will cut the cost of collaboration. But they boost the quality of innovation, too. The best- performing companies are investing for both reasons.
(6) Unlock the power of connected products
Companies are beginning to connect their products and services to the Internet in new and surprising ways. The best-performing firms are leading the way. They see connected products as a way of building sales and—more important—of improving the customer experience and increasing loyalty.