customer centricity

Playing the Long Game

As an interesting addendum to the post below I came across this Quora answer from an ex-Amazon employee to the question 'What allows Amazon to be so innovative?'. Alongside mentions of visionary leadership, entrepreneurial culture and future-focused approach, there is of-course talk of the relentless customer focus for which Amazon is famed (and the 'working back from the customer' approach that I've mentioned before).

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The Problem With Customer-Centricity

A 2007 CMO Council survey asked 477 B2B IT users to rate their technology vendors, and, apparently, surveyed the vendors as well. The study found that 56% of vendors perceived themselves to be extremely customer-centric. Only 12% of their customers agreed, however.

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So You Want To Be Customer-centric?

On the face of it, customer-centricity is easy.  All you need to do is figure out what your customers need, and give it to them.  But anyone who's attempted to make his business act on the voice of the customer knows better.  Silos, policies and KPI's get in the way.

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Six Areas Where B2B Marketers Should Up Their Game

In many B2B companies, marketing is still regarded as a secondary, non-essential part of the business.  Whether this opinion is justified, depends on the situation.  But these days, it is an expensive opinion to hold.

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Why Marketing Needs to Change: A CEO’s Perspective

In the coming months C-suites from around the world will be presented with the marketing budget proposals for 2011.  Once again, many will approve them without real conviction.

After all, when it comes to marketing, many financially focused CEOs find themselves in a quandary.  On the one hand they know that the people who work in the marketing department are smart, creative, well-intentioned and hard-working.  On the other, they have difficulty figuring out what these people do all day.  Whether their beautiful initiatives actually make a difference.

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Revisiting Some Thoughts on Listening

I originally wrote this post in March of 2008 on my previous blog and here, 2.5+ years later, I'm still reading posts about how revolutionary it is that we can listen to our customers and that we're not in control any more. I don't buy it, certainly not on a broad basis. Hell, the company that most SM folks love to love, Apple, certainly hasn't given up control.

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It’s Valentine, and I Want a Divorce

Dear Marketer,

Valentine just passed, and together with many others, my wife and I celebrated that sacred bond that only loved ones can share: a warm and lasting relationship. But as we did, I also started thinking about that “other” relationship you tell me I should have.  The relationship with your brand and your company. 

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Vendors Are Talking: Grocer Is “Not Going to Let Someone Steal My Customer”

Language, especially spoken language, is very revealing when it comes to someone’s values. This is why corporate executives are subjected to media training to keep them on message while speaking in public – meaning, of course, to appear to say something while not really saying anything.

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Customers Are Talking: In Praise of “Customer-Oriented Defiance”

Behind many great customer-service stories is a front-line person who went outside standard operating procedure to solve a customer problem. Now this practice has its own name: Customer-Oriented Defiance.


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Customer Service Is Such an Important Job, Perhaps We Should Spread It around

by: John Caddell

Let me point out two problems:

1) Customer service is quite a difficult job and even the best reps are prone to burn out in time–it has turned into a low-pay, high-turnover McJob instead of the vital, even exalted position it should be.

2) Most managers & leaders are disconnected from their customers, with the result that their decisions often ignore or even defy customers’ wishes.

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