by CIO Staff

Customers, Bottom Line Most Important Aspects of Business, Study Finds

Mar 20, 20063 mins
IT Leadership

At least that’s what senior executives and managers say their organizations most highly value. Two of the three areas that the majority of business leaders say are most highly valued in their businesses relate to customers, based on a nationwide survey by NFI Research.

In the top spot is customer service, followed by the bottom line and then customer relations, based on the survey of senior executives and managers.

When it comes to the bottom line, large companies that say they most highly value the bottom line outnumber small companies almost 2 to 1.

“If you are a public company, at the end of the day it is only about the bottom line,” said one survey respondent.

Said another: “If we do well on the service side, we tend to hit the bottom line. Our board highly values quality of delivery, but doesn’t get to that topic until assessing whether we are hitting our numbers. We live in a bottom-line world.”

When asked which areas they felt provided the highest value, the majority of survey respondents said customer service, customer relations and creativity/new ideas. While almost two-thirds of survey respondents said their organization most highly valued the bottom line, only slightly more than a third identified that area as one in which they personally provided the highest value.

No matter the company size, customer issues ranked as those most highly valued in organizations.

“Without satisfied customers, a business is nonexistent,” said one survey respondent.

Said another: “If the product or service is delivered with less than stellar customer service or without good customer relations, of what good is it?”

“Our philosophy is the client is king, and that drives all of our decisions,” said another.

Concerning what is least valued in an organization, survey respondents selected marketing, secure and orderly management, and sales. Those also were the three areas that the fewest executives and managers said they provided the highest value.

What a business most highly values can be translated into real, day-to-day activities, once all agree what is most valued.

“Our company values safety because it determines the bottom line,” said one survey respondent. “Workmen’s compensation takes a big chunk out of profits.”

In today’s world of accounting irregularities and scandals, ethics and integrity come into play in many different aspects of the business.

“We are measured both on what results we achieve and how we achieve them,” said one respondent. “The how includes acting with integrity, inclusiveness, mutual respect and team play.”

“Integrity is of the utmost importance,” said another. “Live up to your commitments and do what you say you will do.”

Whether an organization most highly values customer service or the bottom line, dealing with integrity and high ethics throughout is essential. Customers are smart enough to see through when this is happening and when it is not.

And these smart customers ultimately will gravitate toward doing business with those who create honest and ethical business relationships.