Where Do We Go from Here?
It is better to know some questions than to know all the answers.
As long as this book is, it could easily have been longer. We are learning more every day about how to grow the value of the customer base, how to interact with customers more effectively, and how to integrate a customer-centric view of the business into an enterprise’s daily operations as well as its long-term strategic planning. In this last chapter, as we close our discussion of managing customer relationships in the interactive age, we need to address one more topic: Where do we go from here? Given the difficulties of transitioning to a customer-centric philosophy of doing business that any enterprise will encounter, what are the traits and behaviors that will be needed by a company’s future leaders, including its marketing, sales, and service executives? What guiding principles can help a company deal with the as-yet-unforeseen technological innovations and business process changes likely to continue disrupting the economic environment throughout your own upcoming business career? If we’ve learned anything from clients, research, and academia in the past 10 years, it’s this: Building customer value and becoming more customer oriented is not a destination, it’s a journey. And it’s very, very difficult to do well. But the payoff can be huge. More and more, the question is not how much it will cost to become a customer-strategy enterprise but how much will it ...