While innovation from within is crucial, I’d go even further to say you need to be pioneering innovation across your entire value chain.
When it comes to your partners, there’s no question that delivering on your numbers is important – it’s what we do every day. But frankly, hitting your number is merely table stakes.
Here’s what you need to be demanding of your partners in 2019:
1. Understand that there is no such thing as customer satisfaction
Satisfaction is a temporary illusion at best. Today’s satisfaction is replaced by tomorrow’s new market innovation that your competitors are already two steps ahead on. True innovation occurs by solving the problems that customers don’t even know they have – and satisfaction is merely a mediocre trap where complacent organizations are overtaken by those that have a true focus on customer centricity.
2. Handle the rapid revolution in the customer journey
We know we’re wasting our breath explaining the importance of the customer journey – we all know how important this is. But the reality is many partners don’t understand that we’re sitting on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how we interact with our customers. With the rise in the omnichannel customer experience in full swing, we need to be looking toward the future of the channel-less customer experience as IoT takes shape. You need a partner that not only understands this but also has the ability to work with you to ensure that your customer journey remains the priority as we move into a new era of customer experience.
3. Actually be agile (not just say they are…)
Everyone is agile these days. Just like everyone is customer-focused and an innovator too (at least if you read their LinkedIn profiles). The reality is that there is a gulf between those who have a truly agile mindset – those who can make decisions at speed, change and adapt processes as situations demand – and those who just like to say they can.
4. Embrace diversity
Diversity comes in many forms – diversity of talent, diversity of thinking, diversity of background. This is about an ability to see value in all forms, to be able to apply different experiences to solve different problems, and most importantly to think differently. Going forward, the customer experience will face some radical challenges, and you need a partner that has the diversity to step outside the box and turn radical challenges into competitive opportunities.