Elmar Degenhart, a powerful voice in the automotive industry, is a living example of expertise and entrepreneurship. He is the executive director of the Continental Corporation, an international company specializing in automobile technologies. When looking at the employment ads of his company, we come across the following words: “freedom of creativity in a large industry.” The company offers employees the chance to test and improve their abilities. When it comes to customers, Elmar states that:
“We are focusing on the increasing need for mobility and growing demand from our industrial customers.”
Even though Continental Corporation is a large company, Degenhart has said on many occasions that they constantly focus on the needs of the customer. Regardless of size, all the units of the company focus on the specific need of their clients – mobility. As a result, mobility has become the working style of the company using flexible structures.
Another master of client service, Marc Benioff, brought his company SalesForce.com to the top of the “most innovative companies” list awarded by Forbes Business Magazine. SalesForce.com offers customer relationship management to help companies with customer communication.
“Customers are discussing a company’s products and brand in real time. Companies need to join the conversation.”
Marc Benioff’s words should trigger a serious alarm to managers and business owners. Customers talk, analyze and criticize a company’s services at a rapid pace; they exchange opinions and spread word-of-mouth reviews about the company. Some companies fail because they didn’t ever talk with their customers to elicit feedback and react to it appropriately.
The Walt Disney Company has provided cartoons and entertainment for decades to one of the pickiest and most sensitive consumer groups – children. Bob Iger, one of the directors of Walt Disney Company and an experienced businessman, offers an important lesson in leadership and customer service:
“What I’ve really learned over time is that optimism is a very, very important part of leadership.”
According to Iger, a leader has to maintain a positive atmosphere both inside and outside the company. He also claims that people won’t follow a negative leader.
“It’s in our best interest to put some of the old rules aside and create new ones and follow the consumer - what the consumer wants and where the consumer wants to go.”
With such a finicky target market, it’s no wonder that Robert Iger learned that the customer is the one that creates the rules and the guidelines of your company. Besides, efficient client service can also help managers to make viable predictions and changes according to buyer expectations.
Jean-Paul Agon, the CEO of L’Oreal, one of the most popular beauty and cosmetics companies in the world, was awarded Visionary of the Year in 2015 due to his exploring and ambitious character. He was also awarded with the title of “Pace Leadership in Ethics.” People have called him energetic, down-to-earth and a true entrepreneur.