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Customer Defection - Disengaged Workforce, Employees - Clueless Management

I've strung together three posts that sum the dysfunctions of many organizations. They cover unhappy customers, employees and managers. What I don't get is the fact that many of these problems can be fixed. Dave Pollard offers several great ideas, so be sure to read his post.

The Rising Tide of Customer Defection by Anita Campbell - Small Business Trends is about the findings of Laurence Haughton, author of "It's What You Do".

Mr. Haughton... Right now somewhere between 32 and 94 per cent of all customers are thinking about ditching their current supplier for the competition.

  • About one-third of all insurance clients are looking around.
  • Over half of all cell phone customers are on the edge (the same is true in financial services).
  • Four of five apparel buyers are ready to switch.
  • And 94 out of every 100 diners who bought a burger last week may not come back this week.

And the stats are no better in professional services and B2B.

  • 55 per cent of enterprise software buyers are real antsy,
  • 61 per cent of executives who outsourced something say, "Going forward, we'd love to find someone else to outsource with."

Who is getting screwed? 

What are the circumstances in your biz? If you're about to get canned because your job is getting outsourced or your biz has been providing shity products/services, maybe the time has come to make a decision on what really matters to you and your customers. There are no excuses left for you or your biz because markets are smarter. In the blogosphere, mind-boggling ideas are all around you - do something.

Research: Poor Conversations Equal Disengaged, Dissatisfied Workforce

The success of a business can be predicted by studying the conversations people have at work, according to new research by global human resources experts Career Innovation (Ci). “You can tell a thriving business by the tense of the conversations taking place—companies whose conversations focus on the future will be the more successful,” said Jonathan Winter, Ci director.

According to Ci’s research, The Conversation Gap means:

  • Two out of five workers can’t to talk to managers about important future issues.
  • Employees are so disengaged, they are three times more likely to be planning to leave their jobs in the next 12 months.
  • Employees can’t talk to their managers about key issues due to a lack of trust.

Why Knowledge Management is So Important by Dave Pollard, How to save the world.

Peter Drucker has identified improving the effectiveness of front-line knowledge workers as the "most important management challenge of the 21st century". In so doing he pointed the way forward for KM: Work effectiveness and personal productivity improvement, personal content management, creating 'simple virtual presence', people-finders, expertise-finders and other know-who and know-how (rather than know-what) directories and resources. But despite this, and our growing awareness that knowledge sharing and collaboration is the key to business success (and perhaps even saving the world), we seem unable to articulate the value proposition for KM compellingly to those who set budgets and allocate resources in major organizations. So expenditure on KM is in long-term decline, and the knowledge 'function' is being deemphasized or folded back into other back-office groups in many organizations.

With customers wanting to ditch suppliers, employees that are disengaged, and clueless management, I'd say that it is simply amazing businesses survive. The good news:

  • things are changing faster with a connected world, check out - Why Can't Business Learn From Open Source And Blogging?
  • disengaged employees are the ones that start new businesses,
  • companies are outsourcing processes and developing cooperative strategies,
  • going out of business and freeing up resource to better ideas.

Seth writes, Who's side are you on, anyway?

The better news is that even though customers (and prospects) can be a real pain in the neck, everyone in the organization that wants customers on a regular basis needs to take a breath and realize that we're always on the same side. The challenge (and the benefit) is in acting that way.

From small businesses to big ones, they work the same way - without customers, there is no business.