the ceo magazine, customer service,
Mostafa Sayyadi, Author, Leading Between the Lines

Executives today are focusing on customer and employee relationship management. Executives today are also focused on strategic management decision making due to the hypercompetitive global environment and the public and private sector evaluation and opinion. Public organizations are attempting to function as private profit-wise while public companies have the Wall Street analysts continuously evaluating their every strategic move. Executives, therefore, inspire people to create new ideas and develop effective mechanisms to acquire knowledge from various sources such as customers. The acquisition of new knowledge from customers is an ongoing process and can be essential to identify the needs of customers and recognize changes in the business environment. Thus, executives create new ideas and knowledge for innovation and to motivate employees to solve their current problems in a more innovative manner. Executives as leaders steering the organizational strategy facilitate innovation, by undertaking initiatives that improve knowledge transfer, thus enhancing the performance of employees and the implementation of effective changes to maintain the quality of products and services.

This can improve financial and non-financial performance in various metrics such as the customer focus, the quality of products and services, and the organizational revenue. Shared knowledge can contribute to the development of a learning organization in which people continuously grow and develop both personally and professionally. This is similar to a value-chain approach. Executives need to first support this customer focused approach to work because they play a strategic role in improving their team's customer service skills through applying incentives as mechanisms to develop a more innovative climate.

Executives must also curtail the knowledge within organizations. This knowledge needs to be reconfigured to meet environmental changes and new challenges and at the same time should not be leaked to the competition in any shape or form unless agreed upon by senior executives. Executives then integrate knowledge internally to enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies in various systems and processes, as well as to be more responsive to market changes.

Executives can also improve networking with external sources through mechanisms, focusing on developing relationships and leading between the lines of the organizational chart to better meet the needs of shareholders. Executives are aware of networking with business partners is a key activity for organizations to enhance knowledge exchange. Networking is a critical concern for executives in this process is developing alliances with partners in external environments. Executives and their expert groups and/or steering committees are the ones who can make final decisions about developing alliances with business partners. Furthermore, executives can inspire organizational members to network with more successful competitors by sharing successes to build alliances and not only enhance competition but communicate best practices as a way of keeping the highest standard of operation in the industry and being the go-to organization for successful modeling of customer service and employee satisfaction. In doing this, executives create an inspiring view of future and motivate employees to develop relationships with external environments to identify new opportunities that occur in an ever-changing hypercompetitive marketplace.

In addition, when executives show concern for the employee’s individual needs, individuals begin to contribute more commitment and they become more inspired them to put extra effort into their work. This extra effort improves the quality of products, customer satisfaction, and impacts the return on shareholder value, and improves operational risk management. Therefore, executives can positively affect financial and non-financial performance through increasing the rate of responses to environmental changes, improving the quality of products and services, along with a stronger customer focus and developing learning opportunities for employees.

[Image via: Pixabay/ TheDigitalArtist]


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