5 Strategies On How To Stay Ahead Of Customer-Driven Disruption
by NJ Goldston
Are today’s companies ready for the next disruption? With the rise of the smartphone, fast fashion, and ride-sharing and the decline of industry stalwarts like GE, IBM, and Coca-Cola, conventional wisdom says that technology is propelling the disruption that is roiling the markets. Here’s a switch. Business expert Suman Sarkar, a partner with Three S Consulting, says this belief is dead wrong. Sarkar contends that “disruption is, in fact, driven by changing customer needs – and that only those companies that truly understand their customers can succeed.”
If you’re a founder, in the C-Suite, or deep into the customer experience on the work front, Sarkar has a warning. “If you’re not focused on your customers, they will leave as soon as they find a viable alternative, and their departure is only a matter of time.”
Sarkar, who has advised leaders at dozens of Fortune 500 companies asserts that too many executives concentrate on short-term performance. This often means mergers and acquisitions, incremental innovation, marketing, and global expansion – which, over the long-term, only widen the gulf between the company and its customers.
According to Sarkar, “These ill-fated approaches are built on an outdated understanding of the market – a time when baby boomers were swayed by advertising, when developing nations wanted whatever was “American,” and when consumerism was the rule of the day.” In his new book debuting in September, Customer-Driven Disruption, Sarkar shared that millennials and Generation Z approach the world and the marketplace in very different ways – influenced by peer reviews, driven by the desire for personalized products and service, and unwilling to delay gratification. No wonder companies everywhere are often struggling to keep pace with these very real, out-sized expectations.
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