2008: The Year of the Customer (NYSE CEO Report 2008)

A colleague just sent me a link to the NYSE’s CEO Report 2008.  This report, based on a survey of 240 CEOs of New York Stock Exchange listed companies, strongly emphasizes the increasing executive attention being focused on delivering an outstanding customer experience.

From the executive summary:

 “The first theme is that this may be a year in which there is renewed vigor around the customer – 2008 may be a year where many CEOs put the customer at the top of the long list of issues on which they must focus. Why?  Simply stated – customers are at the core of growth.  Here are a few points from this year’s study that are the foundation of this theme:

  • CEOs are planning greater investment, both budget and time-wise, on customer relationship management.
  • The importance of sales growth as a performance measure has increased since the prior study. Customers are the engine of sales growth.
  • Brand, reputation, and investments in corporate social responsibility are more important this year – all efforts that are focused on the winning the hearts and minds of the customer.
  • While many CEOs say it is easier to attract customers than it used to be, many, particularly outside the United States, say it is getting harder to retain customers. CEOs recognize that losing customers can be costly.”

Although the research for this report was conducted in early 2007, we’ve observed a growing recognition of the importance of customer experience amongst our senior executive clients over 2007.  If anything the story is stronger today than when the survey was completed.

    4 Responses

    1. While searching around for perspective on this “Year of the Customer” thing, I came across a very well-stated comment by Brett Duncan (see http://brettduncan.wordpress.com/).

      “The problem with the whole thing is that every year should be the year of the customer. It shouldn’t even be an event. There is no deadline. It’s always about them. Reminds me of asking my Mom why kids didn’t get Kids’ Day like mothers get Mother’s Day. She told me every day is Kids’ Day. Just like every year is the Year of the Customer.”

    2. […] Customer Driven Innovation Practice recently wrote about the latest NYSE’s CEO Report, 2008: The Year of the Customer: A colleague just sent me a link to the NYSE’s CEO Report 2008. This report, based on a survey of […]

    3. Frank – thanks for the reference. I definitely agree with you that the focus on the customer is growing at the executive level. Probably because advertising, at least in a traditional matter, is much less effective now, and companies are going to have to figure out ways to communicate with people, not at them.

    4. I would like to consider you, Frank, for a speaking engagement for one of my clients. Please contact me at 604-657-2233

      I am chatting with the President of the company tomorrow at 11am PST. If there is anyway someone could get back to me before then, it would be greatly appreciated.


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