What makes a successful company? Is it being better than the competition at what you do? Is it having the cheapest prices?
According to this article from Harvard Business Review, what makes a successful company these days is its ability to grow, learn, and adapt.
We live in a time when innovations and technology is developing faster than ever.
This means that the volatility of business has been at an all time high.
The market is changing faster than most companies can keep up with, and this means that being the "best" in your industry is something that can change overnight.
Having a set, well-known skill-set means your company will get left behind when the need for a new, more progressive skillset emerges.
Companies like Verizon know this.
Though the company has been around since 1876, it is one of the most innovative companies out there and remains an industry leader and household name.
Verizon keeps up with the changing communications needs of their customers and always trying to be a step ahead with new innovations like fiber optic communications, faster wireless, and the most innovative cell phones.
Recently, it is making waves by offering a “skinny bundle” of channels tailored to consumer's specific interests.
But not all companies have this agility, and this can be fatal in today's market.
So what do you do to make sure that your company grows and adapts as it needs to, and does not become obsolete in this quickly changing market?
Here are 3 tactics you can implement to start transforming your company into an adaptable, agile workforce and keep your customers buying.
#1 Invest in the right people
When adaptability and innovation are your concerns, having the right team working on your product innovation and marketing is of the utmost importance.
How innovative your company is will have a lot to do with how innovative your employees are.
Avoid people who are stuck in their ways or rely on a simple philosophy to address all issues: hire passionate, creative thinkers who love to problem solve.
Just as important is to make sure that your employees are outgoing, social people who will ask the right questions to see what's happening in the industry and what new needs have to be filled.
Remember, investing in the right people also means investing in their training and making sure you retain your employees once you hire them, so make employee satisfaction a priority.
#2 Launch educated retention campaigns
The only thing more important than employee satisfaction is customer satisfaction!
If you're losing customers, your first concern should be getting them back. Invest your resources in studying why you are losing customers.
Send out customer knowledge surveys that ask your customers what they like and don't like about your company.
Discover here the ultimate guide to creating a customer survey.
Surveys are one of the only reliable ways to find out why you are losing customers.
You can analyze all the data you want, but if you don't stop and ask your customers how they are feeling, what they don't and don't like about your company, and how likely they are to buy, you will end up losing customers who are silently dissatisfied.
Once you figure out which customers you are losing, launch aggressive retention campaigns that aim to win them back.
Click here to know how to send out an "innovation" survey that asks your customers what new changes they would like to see.
With this survey, they know that you are making changes and listening to their opinions.
Offer discounts and free gifts, and create a rewards program for returning customers.
Do whatever you can to make sure your customers know that you are making an effort to change.
Keeping your current customers is the absolute priority of companies that are trying to innovate and adapt.
You do not want to have to be scrambling to win new customers all the time as your old ones fall by the wayside- it is an extreme waste of time and resources.
#3 Practice adaptability
Being an company that can easily adapt and grow is not something that can happen overnight.
Companies that succeed at this actually have systems in place that help them to grow and adapt in a structured, efficient way.
Practicing adaptability means experimenting with implementing changes and seeing where your company needs to improve.
Do you have the right engineers to help you implement new software programs?
Becoming a company that is good at growing takes time.
It may even be worth your while to invest in finding a growth consultant that can help you with some strategic planning and help you understand where your company's systems are least efficient and how you can change for the better.
Nestle does a great job expanding its brand image and altering it depending on the product and buyer.
If you are losing your place in the market, don't lose faith.
Traditional companies are all working through the growing pains of innovation.
What is important is that you take these changes seriously and stay in the game.
It may take some investment to get started, but do it right and you will see returns faster than you think.