C-Suite Confusion, Fear and Disagreement

It’s little wonder someone like musician David Carroll was inspired to produce a music video – that went viral – about United Airlines’s cavalier attitude toward him when he complained about how they badly damaged his guitar in transport.

“United Breaks Guitars” – cited in an excellent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit – was a wake up call to United.

But its point about the importance of responsive customer service in the on-line age doesn’t seem to have penetrated the business world as yet.

As the infographic summarizes, there’s C-suite confusion about who’s responsibility for customer service.

Customer service is, for too many C-suite leaders, a fear-based, reactive response to threats, rather than a proactive way of improving customer service and spreading customer recommendations.

There is disagreement about how well social media efforts are working, with the C-suite convinced all is well whereas middle managers are less impressed.

How can these leaders become better aligned around the role, goals and true success of their customer service efforts?

One way would be for them to get aligned around a purpose beyond profit – a compelling idea that helps them see how they can truly matter to people.

Another way is to define a specific emotional aura that you want people who do business with, or work for, the company feel with every contract – so that the outcome of customer service is more defined in human terms.

Establishing a new code of behavior that’s more in touch with the social zeitgeist will go along way in helping people both in the C-suite and throughout the organization align their ways of being.

From top down, and bottom up, businesses that matter know their purpose, how they want people to feel and how to behave to make it all come true.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy firm that works with the c-suite of high-growth companies.

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