With shifting markets, changing consumers, and a disrupted supply chain of various goods, it’s common for leaders to become more reactive and less proactive.
For example, consumers have had to adjust to working from home. They shop more online than in stores. They have become less patient and more vocal on issues that matter to them. They feel like they are more in charge of themselves than ever before. And they will continue to change. Leaders need to pay attention.
Here are two facts that won’t change, though:
- We need to earn our customers’ business every day.
- No matter how long we’ve worked with our customers, they can still take their business elsewhere tomorrow.
To become an organization that is more proactive to the needs of your customers, regularly seek informal and formal feedback from them.
Proactive organizations will solve problems before they become problems and implement improvements before they are required. As a leader, you want to:
- Continually challenge your team to pay attention to your customers’ changing needs.
- Make it your business to understand your business as well as your own.
- Ensure your products and services align with your customers’ sales, marketing, and positioning efforts so you won’t offer what’s of minimal value to them.
First ask, listen, then respond. It’s a better way than waiting to react to your customers—particularly if they’ve ceased to be your customers.