CEOs are overwhelmed with responsibilities. Needless to say, from managing the company, its resources, its manpower and markets … to ensuring optimal returns on investments made, CEOs have their hands full.
In order to be able to manage all these tasks with equal efficiency and ensure the best output from himself and his team, the CEO must cultivate and nurture some effective habits.
In the first part of this two-part article, I have listed below 7 habits of highly effective CEOs, recommended by experts:
1.Respect your customer
The Customer is King is an old adage. But it is still gold. If you do not talk with respect about your customer, you will not be best positioned to deliver the products or services to your customer’s satisfaction. Moreover, standing in the shoes of the customer will give you the buyer’s point of view toward your products and services. It will help you improve your products and services and price them correctly.
2.Never say anything negative
Remember, every thing that the CEO does or every word that he utters is watched with interest by the rest of the company. Even if you yourself may be disappointed with certain things, performances, people, clients or any other issue, refrain from voicing negative thoughts. The CEO’s role as the captain of the ship is to steer the ship toward the targeted destination. You must encourage your team to embrace the “positive” journey and play their roles with equal enthusiasm and confidence.
3.Pay the highest attention to customer service
Let’s face it, no matter what business you are in, it is highly competitive. One of the best ways to score over your competitors is by offering world class customer service. Everyone says they have great customer service, so saying it is not a differentiator. DOING IT is!! You must deliver a perfect customer experience every time. A delighted customer is a returning customer. If you can cause your customer to feel special and to deliver to them a customer experience that is remarkable, then you will win their loyalty and their references.
4.Cultivate the art of listening
A patient CEO with a good listening ear is a successful CEO. As a CEO, people tend to get carried away by the authority and power of the position and stop listening to others. This can be a very costly mistake. Good salesmen listen four times more that they talk. So do good CEOs. Listen carefully to your employees, your customers and your stakeholders. Find out what their needs are, and then fulfill them. It’s really that simple.
5.Under promise and over deliver
Most customers are sick and tired of their supplier or vendor not delivering on promises. Make “under promise and over deliver” part of your culture. If you become the company customers can count on, you’ll have customers for life. Remember, encouragement is not to be confused with building castles in the air. As a CEO your responsibilities lies in encouraging your team to over deliver and achieve the targeted goals. And it should not happen that you project an outlook that is uncertain or promise a result that is difficult to deliver. This will only lead to fear, frustration and distrust among your employees and customers.
6.Respond to the customer immediately
Don’t keep customers waiting for replies to their queries or waiting to be attended to. Research has shown that a severely unhappy customer will tell an average of 17 people. While a satisfied customer can generate more business for you, a dissatisfied or ignored customer can drive away business faster than you can imagine. Treat customers with respect and attend to their issues as your highest priority.
7.Aim for zero defect
* in Marketing
* in Manufacturing
* in Customer Service
… So that you can deliver a flawless product/service.
Cultivate the culture of producing zero defect products/services in your company. If you manufacture bug-free products or deliver zero-defect services, your marketing team too will have the confidence to push toward flawless presentations and marketing campaigns. Similarly, ensure that your customer service is without loopholes. All together when you have a foolproof product/service, supported by zero-defect marketing and customer service, you can be certain that you are on the right track.
A CEO has just as much to learn and improve upon as any other employee. Cultivating these effective habits is one such learning process. For people at the top, the most common problem they face is lack of honest and practical guidance. The best way to learn about how to identify the problem areas in your company and find solutions is by discussing and analyzing your problems with other CEOs.
Join a successful CEO Group where as a CEO you will get practical, tested ideas and solutions from people who have been in similar positions as you. In terms of CEO coaching, a CEO Group works best as it allows CEOs, presidents and general managers to put their heads together and find solutions to problems their fellow members are facing. Join a CEO Group in Atlanta or any other city that has a thriving CEO coaching culture.
In the 2nd part of this article, I will highlight some more highly effective habits of CEOs.
Tom Bordon is a freelance writer who has extensively written about CEO peer groups in Atlanta and executive business coaching. His articles focus on guiding CEOs, COOs and top level executives in making new business strategies, selling a business and exit planning.