Today is my first working day of 2009 and I must say, I’m excited about the new year. I’ve spent the past several weeks thinking about 2009 and how I can bring increased value to customer advocates. As I continue to think about this, I keep coming back to the concept of constant customer connection (or as I’ve refered to in previous blog posts — 3C).
3C is about creating channels to engage in conversations with customers and potential customers. It is about listening and sharing. For me, the ability to achieve 3C boils down to two key components:
1. Transparency (what you say) – In an article by destination CRM titled, "Transparency," they provide the following quote from Clate Mack, CEO of Infusionsoft: "Part of [transparency] is opening things up and letting other people provide value … regardless of how you get it to them." In 2009 I will continue to explore ways organizations are providing transparency to their customers and the resulting business outcomes.
2. Communication methods (how you say it) – Organizations must implement the right tools for listening AND sharing information. There are numerous channels that customers use to share their thoughts on products, services, and their relationships, which is why organizations need a multi-dimensional approach for listening to their customers. In 2009, I hope we (together) will develop a comprehensive approach for engaging in ongoing conversations with our customers.
Last week I had an e-mail exchange with Pat Gibbons and asked him, "True or False: Customers sharing insights, feedback, and reviews with the companies they do business with is ubiquitous." His responnse, "It could be true. In other words, customers share their thoughts a lot, but companies don’t always capture it." Pat’s comment hit home for me. If customer sharing is ubiquitous, then we need the right tools to capture, interpret, and transform this information into insights … constantly!
I’m looking forward to sharing experiences with you throughout the year and hearing your thoughts and insights.
What say you?
Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 1/5/2009.