A CEO can occupy his or her time with all sorts of priorities and activities. Hopefully, all of them are important. However, certain items intrinsically command attention, and the customer experience is one of them.
SAP’s CEO, Bill McDermott, was asked about how he as a nontech kind of guy is successful at running a high-tech company. His response is a marvelous reminder to every businessperson (Geoff Colvin “A CEO’s Plan to Defy Disruption” Fortune, November 17, 2014, p. 36):
“I see everything through the eyes of the customer, and fortunately, I’ve encouraged 67,000 of my colleagues and 2.1 million people in our ecosystem to do the same. In the end the customer must win, and I think the idea of having this empathy for the total customer experience is what counts.”
McDermott has hit the nail on the head. The more that a company can discipline itself to see everything from the customer’s perspective, the more successful that company will be. The proof is evident in what we all experience every day. You know when a company has anticipated what you will experience, and you know when a company has failed in that regard.
The customer experience is supreme. As a customer myself, I cannot deny that truth.