Businesses Must Embrace Change, Focus On Customer Advocacy
      Businesses need to stop using customer research methods of bygone days and embrace change so that they can begin focusing instead on customer advocates, according to consulting firm Robinson & Associates, Inc.
      "I see many companies using yesterday’s customer service procedures and wondering why they are not getting better results," says Martin R. Baird, chief executive officer of Boise, Idaho-based Robinson & Associates. "The performance of their businesses is not improving because they are stuck in the past."

      Baird offers the following tips about customer research methods that are no longer useful and the importance of changing for the good of the company.

      Tip No. 1. Customer satisfaction surveys are a waste of time and money. "Valid research has found that there is zero correlation between customer satisfaction and the future growth of any business," Baird says. "That means any business in any industry."

      Tip No. 2. Businesses continue to conduct satisfaction surveys. "I was at a company’s Web site recently and there were a number of places that showed me where to take their online customer satisfaction survey," Baird explains. "Thus, businesses continue to do things that are unproductive, even wasteful."

      Tip No. 3. Change or risk failure. "If companies don’t embrace change and focus on client advocacy instead of satisfaction, they could end up like many other industries that now exist primarily in history books," Baird says. "These industries – railroads among them – are no longer on the tips of people’s tongues because they failed to change with the times and faded. Some of them are still around, but the world has passed them by."

      Tip No. 4. Don’t be blinded by current success. "I’m sure many businesses find it difficult to equate change with future success when they see cars in their parking lots at all hours of the day," Baird notes. "I’m also sure the railroads couldn’t envision an end to the glory days when they dominated transportation."

      Baird suggests that business executives ask themselves the following questions.

      Try new things. "What are you doing in human resources and other areas of your business to try new things?" Baird asks. "What are you doing to take that next step that will lead you from where you are today to where you want to be? Doing what you have always done, just in a slightly different way, is not the answer."

      Envision the future. "What would your customers look like if you could create your dream company?" Baird asks. "What would they look like if they were all advocates for your business? What would your employees look like if they were inspired by the work they do? What would your senior team look like if they were all advocates of the business rather than the money or title they have?"

      Businesses must become dissatisfied with old–school management techniques such as satisfaction surveys, Baird says. "Then they are free to create a vision of what their enterprise could be in the future," Baird says. "Share that vision with every employee at the company. They must know what your business of the future looks like in order to see it, too. Better yet, they need to own that vision."

      Robinson & Associates, Inc., is a Boise, Idaho, consulting firm that helps businesses measure and manage the quality of customer service and improvements to their internal operations to enhance business performance and increase revenues. It is a leading company in marketing and client retention and development. Robinson & Associates may be reached at 208-991-2037 or at

CONTACT: Tom Ellis
Ellis Communications, Inc.
Phone (417) 881-5635
Yahoo IM tom_ellis46