Your customers know what they want—so ask them.
External interviews are of vital importance in conjunction with the internal analysis you performed in Step 1. Together they’ll give you the most complete picture of where your organization is today, the direction it needs to move and if it’s possible to get there with your existing organizational structure.
Don’t just talk to the customers you have today. Seek out the type of people you’d like to convert more often and find out what it would take to win their business. You’ll also want to track down past customers to learn how you might have served them better. Information may not be the only benefit you get—reaching out in this way can give you the opportunity to win some of them back.
These interviews are the ultimate ace in the hole for whoever ends up driving the “change bus” in your organization. Leaders who aren’t convinced by internal recommendations are far more likely to sit up and take notice when their customers talk, even if they’re saying the same thing. Because you are continuously actively vying for your customers’ business, it’s important to note their perception and concerns regarding the company. These insights will be part of the foundation on which you begin to make your changes.
One final tip: When internal and external findings don’t agree, trust the customer. They are the ones who can make or break your company.
To find out if the time is right for your company to consider an optimization plan, download our optimization assessment worksheet. You’ll get insightful questions to help you determine if your current assets could work more efficiently.
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