In today’s business world, change is inevitable. Innovations, new technologies, shifting customer demands and habits will either make or break an organization. Organizational change management is therefore critical in order to engage employees, stay ahead of competition and maximize profits.
A recent Fortune article demonstrates Target’s ability not only to change for the better, but to capitalize on lessons learned from the competition. For over a decade, Target outsourced its eCommerce platform to Amazon, most likely having sought to leverage Amazon’s core competency and choosing to outsource accordingly. Ultimately, this decision resulted in customer cannibalization because as stated in the article, Amazon was, “all too happy to steal business from right under Target’s nose…leaving the company way behind many competitors.”
#2 “Give honest, sincere appreciation.”
Instead of criticizing Amazon, Target CEO Brian Cornell practically thanked Amazon for fundamentally changing customers’ purchasing patterns. Amazon was practically a category killer—a company that had such a distinct sustainable competitive advantage in eCommerce that competing firms like Target found it nearly impossible to operate profitably in that industry. Its dominance in digital retail has been a veritable wake-up call to brick-and-mortar retailers that consumers will always shop and buy based on their own terms.
Dale Carnegie said, “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” Not only did Target develop success from failure as exhibited by year-over-year online sales growth from 2.1% to 2.8%, but it showed appreciation to the category king. Dale Carnegie’s 2nd Human Relations principle is, “Give honest, sincere appreciation.” Cornell stated publicly, “We almost need to say thank you to Amazon. They have taught the American consumer to shop online, but they don’t own that relationship,” at Re/code’s CodeConference on May 27th.
#17 “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”
Consumers’ shopping and spending habits speak volumes. Last March, Cornell told Wall Street that Target customers who shop both in-stores and at target.com shop three times more often than the average customer—ultimately generating three times more revenue and 2.5 times more profit. The convenience of cross-shopping, especially in terms of inventory availability, bolsters customer loyalty and maximizes profits.
Dale Carnegie’s 17th Human Relations principle is to, “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.” Target Corp has responded to this consumer trend by cutting its free-shipping minimum in half, from $50 to $25, last winter. Its strategy underscores Target’s commitment to customers and successful fundamental shift from market follower to market leader. Additionally, Target ramped up hundreds of stores to ensure they can double-duty as distribution centers in order to offer customers faster delivery times and even same-day delivery which the company is testing with Google Express.
Consistent, positive customer experiences are required to compete in today’s economy. If one of your goals is to build customer loyalty, position your team for success, engage employees or effectively manage customer expectations, consider enrolling in a Dale Carnegie course.