I was working with a client this week, and one of the things that came up was a letter they received from the CEO of one of their suppliers.
The letter informed them of a price increase that was coming on 1 December - what it didn't tell them was how much the increase was and which products it applied to.
Long story short was it took 3 emails back and forth directly to the CEO, in which my client tried to explain the impact on his business of a price rise and how important it was to know what and how much the price rise applied to. Finally they did get an indication of what the price rise might be, but the real result was a huge missed opportunity for the CEO to show his client (my client) that he really did understand their customers business - and of course that he cared. engagement zero - annoyed factor 10.
More concerning was that the rep and the warehouse of this company had no knowledge of the price rise or even the content of the letter - and were fielding the calls and emails from disgruntled customers all over the country.
What had started with good intent, (to let customers know about a price rise) was a poorly thought through strategy that was executed badly. The CEO (and maybe his team) didn't think through the impact on external and internal stakeholders. His staff were fire fighting, time and energy were wasted (think $) it lowered morale and trust and as for their customers - they disengaged, opinions were lowered and respect was lost. - in short a customer service disaster.
If you have something coming up that will impact your customers - sit in their seat, put their eyes on and see what it looks like from their shoes, the strategy will be easier to formulate and the path will be much clearer. It comes down to culture in the company, simply, are you customer centric or not.
What is your culture? And how does that roll for your stakeholders?