The start of a new year is a good time to take stock, refresh your goals and re-engage on fundamentals. Here is our list of new year’s resolutions for 2018 for every CEO:
Get Closer to Customers. Increase the amount of time you spend on customer issues and opportunities. Reduce the time you spend talking to bankers and financial advisors. Spend a week working in a customer service center. Form a Customer Advisory Board. Have a plaque made for your desk with this pledge in gold letters: Get Closer to Customers.
Get up to Speed on New Technologies That Will Affect Your Business. Is artificial intelligence or predictive analytics going to be a factor? How can your company use blockchain to provide a better service? Can your customers order your products through Alexa? How much further can you push into online marketing or social media? Will self-driving cars change your business model?
Assign Customer Experience to Your Most Successful Direct Report. Ask them to drive consistent, branded, end-to-end customer experience from first inspiration through to arriving on premises. Start thinking about customer success and not just satisfaction. This could have a big impact on conversion and retention rates but requires high level, cross-functional coordination.
Develop at Least One Skunkworks for a New Product or Service Outside of the Normal Chain of Control. Too often there is a group-think in product development and a hierarchy that blocks early stage or fringe ideas, one of which might be the future of the company. Give them a separate budget, facilities, and compensation structure. Consider having it report directly to you.
Study the New Tax Law. Big changes to the tax laws come along rarely and some very successful businesses have been built taking advantage of incentives or opportunities that are embedded in the new law. The nature of the democratic process assures there will be special opportunities. Don’t wait for your tax advisor’s memos to come out – these are highly vetted. Ask someone to dig in who has a nose for business development.
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