Re-inventing your company for Customers

by | Aug 9, 2014 | Customer Service

“Every project is an opportunity to learn, to figure out problems and challenges, to invent and reinvent.” – David Rockwell

Running a business, whatever the size, successfully is no child’s play. In fact, it is something that challenges every physical and mental faculty of the owners and with the current scenario a number of hitherto ‘successful companies are finding themselves at a dangerous intersection. The technological advances, the extremely demanding and aware customers and the unpredictable and very often turbulent market place are all taking a toll on business models that are not moving with the times. These radical changes are indicating that re-inventing your company is the only way to stay alive and even beat competition. Re-inventing your company would mean overhauling the key strategic business propositions, new and improved ways to provide superlative customer service and host of other activities to prove to the customers that you are committed to excellence and will be sustainable in the long run.

Companies are scrambling to introduce policies and strategies that will help re-invent them enable them to remain relevant and successful in this current scenario. Customers are using technology extensively and it is helping them become increasingly intuitive of what can be available and how they can get it. No company is really safe and re-inventing your company is like the proverbial management mantra “running to stay in the same place”. So how has this good to do feature, dramatically changed to must-do?

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The answer seems to lie in the new kind of competition now staring the long time market players in the face:

1. Ingenious start-ups – These are the brain-child of small but extremely sharp minded and relatively young individuals who have carefully examined the market. Given the information they gather, they have found new and more effective ways to not only enter the market place, but also get noticed instantly. They are poised to take on even the big players despite their current limited presence. Keeping a close watch on their activities and understanding their strategies will help the established players in re-inventing themselves.

2. The age of technology means that the giant digital companies are potential competitors for any kind of company belonging to any industry. This is because their current customers belong to all fields, all industries and with the data they possess, the clout and the enormous amounts of money make them a very formidable potential competitor. Their secret lies in constantly looking internally and re-inventing themselves to give the customer what they want.

3. Even customers have become competition and the reason that some industries and businesses have had to shut shop. Why does one need to visit a photo studio any more when they have the best photographer in the palm of their hands – the smart devices! It is so easy to self-help through the modern technology from a simple activity of taking a photo to the more complex troubleshooting of complicated products.

There seems to be only one apparent answer that will save the company from fading away: re-inventing your company. The constant change and the unpredictable nature of the market makes it necessary for companies to look at their long-term strategies at least every quarter and re-do them to match the scenario prevalent. Re-inventing your company and making a thorough evaluation is now necessary to prevent your company from going into oblivion. So what should companies do that justifies “re-invention”?

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– Re-inventing the business archetype is perhaps one of the most daunting in the re-invention exercise. Letting go of the tried and tested methods that have hitherto worked wonders could be difficult. However, if you are looking at re-inventing your company, then it is essential to have the courage to opt out of some of those methods. It may seem like cold-blooded murder as you simply destroy some of those old beliefs and methods. However, it is better for your business to analyze potential self-defeating strategies and beliefs before they actually ‘eat’ you up. It is a pro-active step towards not just remaining alive but ensuring that your company survives and is successful. Re-inventing your company while you still command a market presence not only saves valuable resources but also saves your company from slipping into an almost irrecoverable position.

– A thorough analysis and re-invention of your customer relationships is another such method. The relationship a company must now maintain with customers is very different from earlier. Now the customer is ubiquitous – there is not a single communication channel through which customers cannot reach your company and they expect to be reached out to similarly. A robust customer service strategy will ensure that your customers remain in touch, have as many great experiences as possible and overall can perceive that you are re-inventing your company. Customer focus must not only show it must shine through. No customer will want to stick with a laggard as they are potentially at risk then too.

– Re-inventing the company in every which way possible – seems easier said than done. Most difficult of all would be the way a company is structured. Not having a culture of customer-centricity and the agility to adapt is sure to ring the death knell. Companies that have speed, versatility and adaptability in their core functioning will have an advantage. Of course, one cannot ignore the all-important human factor – unless each member of the company inculcates these characteristics and has a mindset of adjusting to change, no structure will hold. Re-inventing your company is a wide gamut of activities, all of which must work together as a cohesive network.

Companies that are looking to re-invent themselves must realize that despite every effort, they may find that the innovation and re-invention is not bringing about the desired results. This is probably so because the existing business model was not clearly defined from the start and hence the changes attempted on it also prove ineffective. There was probably no clear thought and analysis put in to why the business model was and is the way it is and what its inherent strengths and weaknesses are. Hence such companies would be unable to completely leverage the winning idea of re-invention. Making out a clear road map with a clear understanding of each stage will prevent companies from coming up with ‘re-invented’ business models that are still shoddy and unimpressive to everyone holding stake in the company.

Re-inventing your company would need to start with a re-invention of each member. When there is talk about a need to change it actually boils down to changing the mindset of the individuals that comprise the organization. Rather than trying to change what’s around and most certainly not in our control, companies need to ask every individual to look inwards and analyze what they can change about themselves in keeping with the spirit of re-invention. Over time it is possible that robots will take over most of the tasks currently done by humans and to tide over that every individual must re-invent themselves to prove themselves superior to the machines. Similarly companies that want to establish supremacy and command will have to look at reinventing themselves and add that something extra that no one or nothing can replace. It is a tall order but completely possible.

With time, all companies or businesses, even the most powerful and successful, will run out of ways and space to grow and sustain. This harsh reality is what should goad you on to re-inventing your company regularly and with a calm seriousness. To be able to sustain this level of maturity and managing to move from one kind of strategy to the next is what will differentiate between the top notch players and the ones whose supposed growth and market position is fleeting. The consequences of not re-inventing your company seem rather sordid and presage disaster.

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell

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