Advice from John Chambers: Leverage technology to get closer to customers and grow wallet share
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
It’s incredible how when you say John Chambers’ name in the valley and in the business community, everyone knows him and most perceive him as an on-the-mark visionary. Chambers transformed Cisco; he made the company a household brand and has created a customer-centricity that few companies can muster and harness.
What brings this up is a great Q&A with John Chambers in yesterday’s USA Today: What I liked most were the two hidden references to “using technology to get closer to customers” and “leveraging technology to driver greater share of customer wallet.”
Those comments, although buried low in the piece, are indicative of what’s going on. As we continue to see the signs of what several economists are calling the “leading indicators” of an economic downturn—consolidation, revised earnings and slower buying—then understanding, keeping and growing your customers becomes increasingly important. How much is your company spending for technology to structure, monitor and relay customer conversations and insight? Where is the budget and ownership of such activities?
This isn’t just food for thought. It’s food for survival.
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A few interesting quotes from Chambers…
“[CEOs]…understand the power of getting closer to customers, keeping their fingers on the pulse of their culture, looking at new market opportunities, getting quick feedback to know what is working and being able to adjust when it's not. When I talk to (JPMorgan Chase CEO) Jamie Dimon or (Wal-Mart CEO) Lee Scott, they are astute where it comes to getting closer to customers, driving productivity, gaining a competitive advantage.”
“The two hottest areas right now in technology are getting closer to your customer and getting a larger share of their wallet.”
Promise Phelon, CEO Founder Promise.Phelon@phelongroup.com