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One-Third of Companies Fail to Keep Promises to Customers

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9/30/2014

Thirty-three percent of companies admit to not keeping promises made to customers according to findings of a global survey of more than 1,300 business leaders conducted by Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and American Management Association (AMA).

The findings are from their study, The Customer-Focused Organization: How Alignment, Advocacy, and Technology Drive High-Performance, which identifies the strategies and practices used to achieve customer focus by high-performance global leaders such as Starbucks, Pizza Hut, 3M Corporation, Colliers International, and Cargill.

Download the report here.

Kevin Martin, Chief Research & Marketing Officer for i4cp, noted that the study found a growing gap in branding that companies need to address or lose their customers’ loyalty. “Among many lower-performing organizations we found a significant gap between how employees perceive their employer and how customers view the company. Only 40% of employers indicated that they keep promises made to their employees. Organizations that fail to deliver for their employees are inviting comparable failure on delivering on promises made to customers. The two are interdependent and cannot be viewed in isolation.”

Jeremey Donovan, Chief Marketing Officer for AMA, said “everyone knows that customer focus matters. But high-performing organizations turn that knowledge into actionable business practices. For instance, our study found that high-performing organizations are three-times more likely to hire for customer focus.”

AMA and i4cp found that building customer focus to create a competitive advantage depends on four factors:

  • Ensuring customer-focused behaviors at all levels throughout the organization.
  • Measuring customer satisfaction is good, but customer engagement is better.
  • Using customer insights to shape products, services, and strategy.
  • Leveraging technologies—from CRM to social media—can help achieve high-touch.

Donovan explained that “failed promises can be as simple as poor service or unresponsiveness and may extend to more complex issues such as inconsistent quality. Providing customer-focused training and development to employees will create brand value and drive incremental revenue.”

The study, The Customer-Focused Organization: How Alignment, Advocacy, and Technology Drive High-Performance, was conducted by i4cp and AMA and is based on participation by 1,333 business leaders and professionals worldwide as well as secondary research and interviews.


About the Institute for Corporate Productivity
Institute for Corporate Productivity (http://www.i4cp.com/) is a human capital research firm that discovers the people practices that drive high performance. Ranked among the fastest-growing companies on the Inc. 500|5000 list for four consecutive years, i4cp provides its extensive member network of leading global employers and government institutions with the research, peer collaboration, tools, and data essential to developing and executing workforce strategies and practices that deliver higher market performance.

About American Management Association
American Management Association (www.amanet.org) is a world leader in talent development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. AMA’s approach to improving performance combines experiential learning—learning through doing—with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one’s career. AMA supports the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of products and services, including classroom and live online seminars, eLearning programs, webcasts, webinars, podcasts, corporate and government solutions, business books, and research. Organizations worldwide, including the majority of the Fortune 500, turn to AMA as their trusted partner in professional development and draw upon its experience to enhance skills, abilities, and knowledge with noticeable results from day one.