Walking the Customer Centric Walk

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Customer Relationship Management
Customer Experience
There are dozens - perhaps even hundreds - of companies that sell marketing automation tools and services. At 1to1 Media, we're constantly interviewing executives from marketing automation providers to discuss industry trends, the challenges being faced by their clients, along with new features and functionality being offered through their tools and services. The leaders from these companies often share great advice for other companies to become more customer-centric. Sometimes we are privileged to see this in action.

There are dozens - perhaps even hundreds - of companies that sell marketing automation tools and services. At 1to1 Media, we're constantly interviewing executives from marketing automation providers to discuss industry trends, the challenges being faced by their clients, along with new features and functionality being offered through their tools and services. The leaders from these companies often share great advice for other companies to become more customer-centric. Sometimes we are privileged to see this in action.Last week while I was attending the 2013 ForeSee Summit in Ann Arbor, Mich., the company hosted an offsite event at Michigan Stadium, aka "The Big House." As we arrived at the stadium, we were greeted by members of the University of Michigan marching band. Granted, the ensemble of 12 musicians represented just a fraction of the university's full marching band. But I thought it was pretty cool that ForeSee had arranged to have the group perform for its clients as soon as they arrived at the stadium.

To me, this is a form of customer centricity, under the heading of delighting or wowing your customers. And while the marching band was fun, I got to see other examples of customer centricity in action. Toward the end of one of his presentations at the summit, ForeSee president and CEO Larry Freed implored attendees to think of tough questions to pose to him and other executives about ForeSee's analytics products and research services that could help them to address their most pressing needs.

I've been fortunate to witness other companies that also walk the customer centricity walk. One company that springs to mind is inContact, a provider of cloud contact center applications. Last October, I attended their customer conference in Salt Lake City. Upon arrival at the event, attendees were presented not only with name badges and conference materials but also with water bottles. Salt Lake City can be arid at times and inContact anticipated its customers' needs. It was a small gesture but something that stuck with me. The company did other things to demonstrate its customer centricity throughout the event, including providing a round-up of the types of functionality and features that many clients had requested for its cloud services that inContact had since implemented.

It's one thing to talk a good game when it comes to customer centricity. It's another to actually deliver the goods. And while marching bands and fun events that are hosted for customers are great way for companies to demonstrate their appreciation of customers, ultimately it's the things that companies do consistently on a daily basis for their customers that is a true measure of customer centricity.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION