Social Acceptance a Source of Competitive Advantage

The past election cycle has been one of the most disturbing periods of American politics. Not only the United States, but also the world have been affected by ideological views that most believed to have been left in a dark past. Most countries view presidential elections as times to celebrate democracy, and paths toward greater unity across political, religious, and racial divides. However, last year’s political climate has proven to be a total opposite. Many constituencies see this as regression toward harmony in a world that has embraced an unprecedented level of globalization over the last several decades

Our political views can drive our biases and possibly affect the way we conduct business. I am curious to learn, if individuals’ biases that were not socially acceptable in the past, and now are seen as the new norm, will affect the way organizations service their customers. Should organizations take a proactive approach and craft enterprise wide guidelines to deal with their employees political, religious, and racial views? I know… For the past several decades, organizations have incorporated “diversity” as positive for the development of businesses. However, have these efforts of inclusion proven to be effective? Will an organizational culture of “social acceptance” become a source of competitive advantage to the delivery of outstanding customer service?

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What are your customers saying?

As consumers, our experiences with businesses will determine the future of our relationships with these firms. It is not a mystery; bad customer experiences will lead to loss of business. But, what steps are modern organizations taking to keep their customers from going to the competition because of poor service? I have attempted to research this topic, and have come across several interesting on-going efforts to raise the level of service provided to consumers.
Training appears to be at the forefront of every major attempt to raise the level of service provided to consumers. The second significant effort is the incorporation of customer service goals in the organizations’ mission and vision statements. However, are these efforts truly impacting the end user? Further research may be necessary to demonstrate the value derived from these investments. Perhaps, organizations around the world should focus on the hiring of individuals that are legitimately interested in satisfying every stakeholder they come in contact with. Sounds simple, but, can these personality traits be identified through the use of psychological hiring tests? Or, should the organization shift its efforts to evaluating positive employee-customer interactions, and then formulate a competitive strategy around these competencies?

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Customer and Organizational Alignment

Businesses invest significant amounts of resources in their internal operations, which is then passed on to customers through price increases. But, are organizations investments aligned with the expectations of their customers? This question is critical to the successful execution of organizational strategies. Very often, business leaders allocate resources to projects based on performance indicators that fail to provide a clear view of the benefit to the consumer.

Should every project that benefit consumers deliver tangible return to the organization?

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