Three Things All CEOs Should Do…

When I asked Upside Business Travel CEO Scott Case about what companies can do to move closer to their customers, he was emphatic, concise and he spoke with urgency. He basically said, “Do these three things, or else.”

Case was founding CTO of Priceline in 1997, and there he helped form a whole new way of meeting travelers’ needs and expectations with digital technology. Now he is working to create the same types of transformation for business travelers.

Case is a true visionary, and his advice for all business leaders comes down to these basics:

Write down in 60 seconds what problem you are solving for your customers, and if you can’t do that with clarity, go back and do your homework.

Talk with five customers and five prospects. “If you’re not doing that every quarter, you’re done,” he said. Case reminds us all that the conversations should be about them, not us. We need to understand why our customers do what they do and what is their frame of mind.

Have regular contact with employees and others in their late 20s / early 30s. “You need to build that into your system,” he said. “They’re all being influenced by these trends that are moving…. They know what’s going on, and they’re the future.”

The world and business continue to change at a faster-than-ever rate. For today’s customers, consumer or B2B, Case says, “The bar has been set by the big players — Apple, Google, Uber and others. If we’re not trying to escalate what we’re doing for customers, we’re done.”

It has never been more true — the customer is #1.