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October 8, 2013

Nine out of 10 C-suite leaders plan to boost customer collaboration

A third of them fear that their C-suite peers are out of touch with customers.

By CBR Staff Writer

About 90% of chief executive officers are planning to engage customers in the development of business strategies, while a third of them fear that their C-suite peers are out of touch with customers, the latest IBM research suggests.

According to ‘The Customer-Activated Enterprise’ study by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, about 60% of CEOs are planning to directly involve their consumers and practically apply what is being learnt to shape their business agendas in the next three to five years, which is up from 43%.

IBM Global Business Services senior vice president Bridget Kralingen said that the latest research with C-suite leaders over the past decade has shown that organisations have steadily shifted to embrace more open, collaborative and reciprocal models.

"Today, CEO’s recognise that they can’t do it all alone," Kralingen said.

"They’re opening up their organisations, breaking down barriers and actively engaging customers — providing customers a seat at the table to help shape their business model and strategy."

IBM’s research during 2012 revealed that 44% of CEOs were anticipated to expose their organisations to empower individuals, while the number has rose now to 56% in 2013, up 27% in an year.

The study also revealed that the outperforming firms were 54% more probable to collaborate broadly with customers.

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Upon future changes in business landscape, about 54% of C-suite executives plan to target customers as individuals within the next three to five years, while several of them are relying on digital technologies to boost customer involvement and create a one-to-one dialogue, as well as improving experience, while closing the customer intimacy gap.

IBM’s research reveals that C-suite leaders are rapidly embracing the deployment of digital channels to fuel customer interactions.

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