No Time For Customers


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No Time For Customers

  1. 1. NO TIME FOR CUSTOMERS: Conduct a Task AuditI discuss the importance of Customers, Customer Value and Creating Value withCEO’s and CXO’s of companies of all sizes. We discuss how increasing CustomerValue leads to increased profits. Many CXO’s end the conversation saying, “Whatyou are suggesting is important and certainly the Customer is crucial for us.However, we have too many other programs in place…” The Customer priority isgenerally low in these companies.At first, I used to be mystified that the Customer was not that important to thesecompanies, and that they had no time for the Customer. So, I asked myself, what ismore important? What tasks are they carrying out that are more significant? I thenstarted to work with companies on a Task Audit (and these included India’s largestcompanies). We looked at:Necessary and Relevant work for the CustomerNecessary and Irrelevant workUnnecessary and Relevant workUnnecessary and Irrelevant work
  2. 2. AS DEFINITIONS, Necessary work is essential for, vital to, indispensable to,important to, crucial to, needed by, compulsory required by or requisite for theCustomerRelevant work is pertinent to, applicable or germane to, or appropriate to theCustomer. This is work that can be eliminated without deterioration of presentservice or productWhat work is the Customer willing to pay for? That would be termed as Necessaryand Relevant.We conducted research on tasks done by executives through questionnaires. Half ofthe executives answered the questions themselves and the other half with theresearchers. Not surprising, the ones who answered the questions themselves foundthat 70% of their work was useful (either necessary or relevant to the Customer).The executives who filled the questions with the help of researchers found only 50%of their work was useful. The rest was useless (this makes sense, because peoplehave difficulty in admitting that what they do is useless)Examples of useless tasks are redoing reports, unnecessary meetings, waiting formeetings to start and most important of all, reading useless emails. If you spend twohours on emails at least 30 minutes plus are useless. And if you are a department of16 people you are losing one man day on useless emails. Start thinking of this andeliminate useless work and start useful work for the Customer.In The Times of India, March 8, 2013, there is an article called "E-fatigue setting in?Firms may kill emails"Mckinsey is quoted as saying employees spend 28% of their time reading, sortingand sending emails every day.CXO’s, you have a choice of hiding behind the excuse of not having time,or doing something about it and in helping Customers get more Value. Actnow!Gautam MahajanContact Customer Value Foundation for helpemail: mahajan@customervaluefoundation.comwebsite: