Special note to readers: This may be Leximancer’s ONLY holiday themed blog post, but pending feedback we’re willing to try again. ☺
With Valentine’s Day coming up, now is as good a time as any to ask yourself – do you achieve customer intimacy? Sure, you can throw all kinds of stuff at your customers that you think they might like, but do you really listen to them to understand specifically what they want? As with any relationship, intimacy will only be obtained by truly understanding and getting to know one another.
Michael Maoz of Gartner wrote an excellent blog post recently, “As CIO, you’ve said CRM is your differentiator. Now what?” In it, he cited from a recent Gartner survey that “the highest percentage of CIOs (54%) listed customer intimacy as their number one goal in technology and process projects.” For CIOs to really engage with their customers, they must listen to them, and also be both proactive and reactive – in order to achieve that closeness with a customer. Companies must understand the root cause behind customer opinion and not just count customers or search aimlessly for keywords in their comments, but rather respond with dialogue, or innovative new products and services that show clear understanding of customers’ needs and desires.
If like these CIO’s, achieving customer intimacy is at the top of your 2009 to-do list, you’ll need to acquire a deep understanding of what your customer is telling you. You can’t just throw out an occasional survey to solicit feedback. You need to decipher all customer input in whatever format they decide to give it – official or not. Because as with most relationships, they might be telling you ‘yes’ that they’re happy, but once you dig deeper into their comments, you’ll find the ‘buts’, ‘ands’, and ‘ifs’.
Keep checking in on the Customer Insight blog as Leximancer will be launching a new paradigm for measuring and monitoring customer intimacy over the coming weeks. Not only will this paradigm provide an executive friendly visualization for customer intimacy, it will also enable easy access to customer feedback points to address the problem outlined in our last blog post.
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