Walker hosted another successful client forum a couple of weeks ago. Before it becomes a distant memory, I wanted to jot down a few things that stood out:
1 - The theme centered around a common business objective - Growth. Using a framework for growth we identified and discussed ways to integrate the customer perspective into the various growth initiatives.
All too often we can get wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks of running a voice of the customer or customer listening program and we lose sight of the overriding business objective. It is a nice reminder to step back and consider the strategic implications of our customer programs.
2 - The value of networking is significant. When a company connects people with common interests together great things happen. And, this is what happened a couple of weeks ago.
We had a great mix of people. Some have been in charge of their customer strategy program for many years and some are just starting in the role. It is great to have the fresh perspective that the newcomers bring and to hear the lessons learned from the pros.
3 - Using a variety of tools, we were able to extend the reach of the Walker Fall Forum to others. We did this in two ways. First, we had several individuals present at the forum from their home office using tools like Second Life and Cisco WebEx. Second, we used Ustream, a video broadcast platform, to extend the content of the Walker Fall Forum to other customer strategists who were not able to attend in-person.
I'm convinced that our corporate travel policies will not go back to the way they were a year ago. Because of this, it becomes critical that we, as customer strategists, experiment with all of the tools and techniques available to share content and connect our experiences with each other virtually. We learned a lot through our experiments at this years' Walker Fall Forum and will continue to explore other techniques moving forward.
All-in-all it was a successful event and we had a lot of fun. As we look toward 2010, I'm certain it will come with many new stories of how the customer perspective has been used to support growth initiatives and more mediums for telling those stories.
Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 10/13/2009.