Nielsen: Rethinking customer relationships

Continuing our discussion from last week, IBM recently released an extensive study entitled Capitalizing on Complexity.  The study, conclusions and recommendation are based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,500 CEOs worldwide.

One of the major findings is that CEOs of ‘standout organizations’ are capitalizing on complexity by “Rethinking Customer Relationships.” 

“Customers keep getting connected — but are they connecting with you? In a dynamic and more complex environment, more enterprises feel customers pulling away instead of getting closer, as new social networking channels capture a greater share of customer attention. 

It’s not just customer attention that has wandered. Interactions have changed too. For example, even the best-designed retail Web sites can’t control the shopping experience, as more and more sales take place through auction and affiliate sites, location-based sites and a multiplicity of new channels.

Customers encountering new products, services and experiences on what seems like a daily basis are growing less loyal to their brands and even their own habits. Reputations can be built and burned by opinions shared online, “texted” and “tweeted” by friends, bloggers and advocacy groups.

CEOs told us they need to re-ignite customer interest and loyalty, or risk losing ground to competitors.

Customer intimacy is foremost on CEOs’ minds. Eighty-eight percent of all CEOs, and an astounding 95 percent of Standouts, picked getting closer to the customer as the most important dimension to realize their strategy in the next five years. These CEOs are convinced they must not only stay connected (or reconnect) with customers, but keep on learning how to strengthen those bonds.”

The study discusses ways to:

  • Honor your customers above all else
  • Use two-way communication to stay in sync with customers
  • Profit from the information explosion


Nowhere are these realities more evident … and more applicable … than within the healthcare industry. No question that healthcare customers are more and more connected – but are they connecting with you and your organization?

Traditional healthcare organizations will have increasingly less control of the healthcare “shopping experience.” The evolution (some might say revolution) of how and where healthcare is accessed and delivered will continue to migrate to a “multiplicity of new channels.”    

Rethinking Customer Relationships.  What could be more important? The study is available at no cost at   

Copyright © 2011 by Dan Nielsen,

Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership

Cell 214-695-1292

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