Customers don’t care about your internal structure, they just want a brand that delivers

This time of year is characterised by a number of things – difficult conversations with the chief financial officer (CFO) about your marketing budget as they seek to squeeze every penny out of the year-end, and the annual company restructure. Just as people have got used to the last reorganisation, along comes another.

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But why? Why can’t a business go through a period of calm and let people plan for the future with some certainty? Why is a request for stability seen as a sign of weakness that you are scared of change? And when will people realise that such disturbances take focus away from marketers, who were put on this planet to look after the customer?

Customers do not care about your internal structure. They want a brand that delivers consistency of experience regardless of who they speak to, irrespective of where they transact or the reason for that engagement. Some brands manage to do that, no matter what turmoil is going on in their organisation, but others feel they have to meddle – seemingly believing that making employees worry about their future, and changing the vision annually, will somehow make them deliver an outstanding customer service.

I’m not saying that businesses should rest on their laurels – brands must keep an eye on the competition, customers’ changing perceptions, and how technology is changing the art of the possible. But they must do this under an aura of evolution not revolution; they must reassure the customer that what is happening is all part of a customer-focused master plan, which is in their interests.

The latest announcement at my brand makes sense, and for some customers it will enhance their experience. The hard bit is getting my team to come along with it, and in turn, ensuring they continue to give exemplary service to our full customer base – especially those who will see no benefit from the upheaval.

Ah well, not to worry. Another restructure will surely soon follow. I just need to convince my CFO that I need my budget intact to convince customers it is business as usual.

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