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Chances are, your company has a plumbing problem

Based on Walker's report titled, Customers 2020, The Future of B-to-B Customer Experience, Walker identifies one of the major challenges facing companies today – leaky faucets.That is, companies are experiencing DRIP; they are Data Rich and Insight Poor. 

At the 2013 B-to-B Customer Experience Summit, we asked over 100 customer experience professionals to work on this challenge by prioritizing among the various data sources common in B-2-B companies. Here's what they did:

  • Attendees were given 13 small cards, each representing a different source of data (e.g., Competitive Intelligence, Customer Support, Surveys, Channel Metrics, Product Usage Metrics, Social Media, etc.).
  • They were asked to plot each source on a grid representing how much value the information will provide in 2020 and how easy it will be to obtain?
  • At the conclusion of the session, Walker collected the plots and synthesized the results.

Here's what we found:

  1. What's the most valuable source? Account Planning Information, such as how the customer's business operates and their strategic direction, and Executive Sponsorship Insights, such as strategic alignment and engagement from client executives were viewed as the most valuable sources.
  2. While these two elements are considered the most valuable, they are also viewed as the hardest to obtain.
  3. Where to look for quick wins? Insight from Front Line Employees is a good place to start. Front line employees can provide customer issues, complaints, and success stories. This source was seen as valuable and was considered relatively easy to obtain.
  4. What to avoid? Business development metrics had a negative correlation between the value and ease. In other words, they are considered easy to obtain, but the value is among the lowest.

As the volume of data grows at warp speed, companies must evolve their customer experience initiatives to include more sources than simply surveys. They must evolve into a view of information architect, with an objective to organize and align all relevant sources of customer intelligence.

About the Author

Leslie Pagel

Leslie Pagel

As vice president of customer experience, Leslie is responsible for incorporating the voice of Walker’s customers into the solutions development process. To do this, Leslie spends the majority of her time interacting with Walker account teams, clients, and prospective clients to understand their business challenges. She coordinates several listening posts that are used to drive strong client relationships and enhance our consulting and technology capabilities.

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