Something is amiss
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
You spend buckets of money to be a customer-centric company and you are not getting results. If you’re like most senior executives we’ve worked with, you’re swimming in customer data and spending more each year to try to better understand your customers.
The process is broken.
Why? Our experience tells us that because companies don’t have a budget line for customer insight, there are no controls and methods, guiding principles or accountability, and more importantly, insights are not gathered holistically from the customer’s point of view.
Silos emerge. The impetus for research is either urgency or business-case building and not a commitment to integrating customers into the how the business thinks. Since the research isn’t aligned with or visible to the decision makers or to the front-line or customer-impacting employees, it’s not actionable. The implications—not only do you lack the data necessary to make proactive, fact-based decisions, the view your company has of your customers is cobbled together varied points of views and perspectives. As a result, your business lacks the system and ability to truly affect change based on what your customers need.
I’ll be writing more in the coming weeks ahead. But, we believe that the one fundamental dial that can change all of this is to retool the manner in which your company invests in listening and action on what customers say. The first place to start is to make your Voice of Client a corporate driven mandate versus departmentally driven. To be successful, companies must give Voice of Client a formal line item in the budget, with Executive Sponsorship and a master game plan put behind it.
David Ambler, Vice President of Client Services David.Ambler@phelongroup.com