An uncontroversial definition says that a company’s purpose is to generate wealth for shareholders.  But shareholders would actually prefer the greatest possible ROI.    Organizations that develop teams and processes that focus on customers thrive in the face of various economic climates and fulfill the promise of maximized ROI.  Here are four necessary elements of a successful company:

  1. EmployeesEmployees aren’t as interchangeable as employers often believe.  Employers must match the skills and passions of people to the jobs that must be done.  Otherwise, all we do is use the wrong tool (in this case, human capital) for the job.
  2. Products – Products that meet customers’ needs, sold at a fair price can sustain a business.  The opposite is not true: businesses cannot be sustained by products that fail to meet customer needs.
  3. Communication – Epictetus is said to have remarked that “we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”  This truism marks the beginning of communicationCompanies would do well to listen and do vs. ignore and delay.
  4. Leadership – Leadership will be either the beginning or the end of customer service.  An executive team that focuses on growth at the expense of customer experience risks a calamity and misses additional growth.

To be sure, companies can ignore customers and survive… for a time.  The pivot point is that by executing these four pillars simultaneously, by delivering a valuable customer experience, companies maximize the ROI.  Without one element, the stability suffers.  Without two or more, it’s more likely the company will topple and fail.

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