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Putting the center at the center of the business

customer strategyAt the Strategic Account Management Association's (SAMA) 49th annual conference, the conversation focused on putting the customer at the center of the business. While this conference was for SAMs, the content was relevant for customer experience professionals.

Two good reminders emerged:

  • Many companies fail to define success in customer terms. It's common to talk about success as increased sales, customer satisfaction, or employee engagement. While these are important for the company, they aren't necessarily important to customers. Instead, customers care about the outcomes they receive when using your product or service. As companies focus on creating a customer-centric culture, they must start defining success in customer terms.
  • Customer experience is more than providing customer intelligence: For B-to-B companies, customer experience professionals support the account planning process by providing customer insights and intelligence. While this activity is extremely important, we must broaden our role by providing tools, materials, and frameworks that help account managers facilitate joint planning activities. Engaging the customer in the planning process will deliver mutual value and more engaged customers. 

In B-to-B, companies make significant headway toward customer-centricity by driving actions at the customer level. Essential to driving results is defining success in customer terms and joint development of the account plan.

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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