When Customers Keep You Up at Night

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Customer Experience
Customer Experience
1to1 Customer Champions reveal their current hot-button issues.

Keeping up with customer expectations and market changes is no easy task. Like many executives today, the 2010 1to1 Customer Champions know this firsthand. Fortunately, they see the challenge as an opportunity. 1to1 Media asked, what is your current hot-button issue? Here's how the 2010 1to1 Customer Champions replied:

Gloria Berndl, Sr. Director Market & Business Intelligence, CDW:

"We can't move fast enough. It's wonderful to work at CDW and see the amount of opportunity for our customers and for our coworkers, but also to have this burning desire to move along faster than we can all march to."

Gina Debogovich, Senior Manager of Communities and Social Media Strategist, Best Buy:

"The item I focus most on and keeps me up at night is the question of scale. We have all these communities and it seems like there's a new community coming on board every week or every month. And while we have 14 dedicated community connectors today, how do we continue to scale? How are we able to bring in more of that blue shirt and Geek Squad knowledge from the field into all these communities? That's the puzzle that I continue to ponder and also ask my various peers and colleagues throughout the organization."

James Bush, Executive Vice President, World Service, American Express:

"There is a lot of dissatisfaction with customer service in general right now and we want to capitalize on this. For example, we know from some research we commissioned that only about a quarter of American consumers feel companies are going the extra mile to keep their business. We believe this creates a substantial opportunity to fill the void and really impress customers and build loyalty by delivering positive experiences through service and move from a cost to a growth engine."

Susan Jacobs, Director of Marketing and Customer Communications, All-State Legal:

"I would have to say it's how we as a company can efficiently, efficiently, and sustainably grow sales despite a decline in demand in our vertical market. It's a challenge to balance the rightsizing of your investment in human resources to execute tactical initiatives and to maintain high standards in customer service while investing in strategic initiatives to generate the greatest return on investment."

Barry Mainz, Chief Operating Officer, Wind River, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation:

"Are we delivering above and beyond what our customers expect? Are we changing to accommodate our customers' needs? Am I driving through the organization this whole notion that you're changing and improving, or you're staying the same? And if you're staying the same you're losing - you're being beat by the competition. I worry about that. I worry also as far ashave we aligned our product engineering with what our customers are saying? I think if you can apply this whole notion of expectation setting and exceeding with your customers on the proper fronts, whether it's on the quality experience or loyaltyI think you're set up for success.

Desirree Madison-Biggs, Director, Customer Insight & Measurement, Symantec Corporation:

"What keeps me up at night is similar to what a lot of my colleagues are facing right now, which is how to do as much as I can with the same resources or less. Customer insight is a gift that keeps on giving: The more we know, the more we see there is to do."

Kimberly Benaquista, Customer Relations Specialist, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company:

"The biggest hot-button issue is being able to always find new and innovative ways to reach out to customers. We've been using newsletters for two or three years now and [customers are] very receptive to that. We're trying to keep them interested in reading that material. So we've developed some new content to help improve that excitement level."

Esther van Zeggeren, Director of Marketing Strategy and Innovation, KPN:

"What keeps me up at night is really the big dilemma between the technology changes and the customer focuswe really need to make changes rapidly."

Fred Taylor, Senior Manager, Proactive Customer Service Communications Southwest Airlines:

"Delivering what the customer wants is a big challenge for us that keeps us thinking, keeps us on our toes around the clock. Maintaining a personal touch to the information we're sending out to our customers, whether that's a text message or a proactive explanation about a flight disruption - those are also on our mind.

"Also, consistency, accuracy, and relevance in the information we're providing. We have to keep it real with our customers. We have to figure out a way to make sure it's useful, because if the information you're delivering doesn't make sense or isn't helpful then there's no point in delivering it. That goes back to trying to figure out what the customer wants.

"And then I think upholding the company's expectations are internal hot button issues. We're trying to protect our brand, we're trying to maintain a cost-effective business model, and we're wanting to provide a value to our customers, both internal and external."

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION