Pearls of wisdom from ex Tesco chief

28 June 2011

I was in Venice at our annual ITT travel conference this month and was treated to some of the pearls of business wisdom from ex Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy which are simple but very powerful:
1. Find the truth
2. Audacious goals
3. Vision, Values and Culture
     - Tesco’s were very simple so all staff could embrace them:
      - No 1 Choice in UK
     - Be as strong in non food as in food
     - Become leader in global retailing
     - No one tries harder for the customer
     - Treat people how we like to be treated
4. Follow the customer
5. The steering wheel
6. People, processes and systems
7. Data is priceless
8. Competition is good
9. Leadership – go further than you would go on your own.

© Sir Terry Leahy
Sir Terry also talked about the drivers of growth such as trust, information, health, convenience, simplicity, loyalty and going green. He talked about how they use their balanced score card to improve performance on things that matter to their customers. They actually bought the data mining company Dunn Humby that they used when launching their club card.
The key takeout for me was his view that the more involved the customer is in your business, the more loyal they are. This is where social media offers so many opportunities and yet many companies have still not made it easy for their customers to share great experiences via Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Delicious and other sharing tools. In fact a survey of the top 100 travel brands by think tank L2 in their Digital IQ index found that only 20% were using the “like” button on their website and only 9% were using customer reviews on their website. This represents a huge opportunity to amplify your word of mouth and yet companies are dragging their feet about using these tools.

Source: L2 Digital IQ index

What’s more the survey even showed that those companies which have got user reviews and have social sharing on their websites were showing much higher traffic growth than those that were not over the period March 2010 to March 2011 as shown below.

Source: L2 Digital IQ index
So if you need more proofs just let me know. What’s stopping you from letting your customers share good stuff on your site?
Next week I’ll share thoughts on more learnings from the Venice speakers and a quick update on what’s new and cool in social media for those that don’t have time to trawl through all the latest updates.
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