CEOs want to get closer to customers

CEOs want to get closer to customers
IBM has just released the insights from its global CEO survey, which covered 33 industries and 60 countries, including Australia. The study, titled ‘Capitlizing on Complexity’ explored CEO responses to the current economic environment, and identified their key priorities for success in these uncertain times.

Top priority for CEOs from ‘standout’ organisations is getting closer to the customer. In fact, there is a desire to reinvent customer relationships by better understanding their needs, and collaborating to create relevant product and services. And while globally 88% of CEOs put customer intimacy at the top of  their priorities, in Australia it was 91%. Additionally, Australian CEOs were 18% more likely to use insight and information to ‘realise their strategies’.

The trouble is, how often have you seen C-level or other senior management at a focus group, or even in a research presentation, where all those customer insights are shared?

Of course the information and insights are incorporated into strategy, however, it’s so much more powerful when senior management can see/hear for themselves, what customers need and want. This is where online research communities offer a real advantage to senior management; they can tap into the voice of the customer from their desk. An online research community is a live entity – it’s always possible to go straight to the source.

IBM’s survey also identified that CEOs believe collaboration and ‘two-way’ communications to align their business with customer needs. Social media platforms certainly allow this as never before – as one of our community members so bluntly put it, it’s not often that the ‘plebs’ get to engage with the ‘suits’ to work out what customers really want.

You can download the IBM Global CEO Survey here

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