How to transform to a customer company

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Customer focused companies have one common thread, you guessed it, they look at the world from the “outside in”; from the customers point of view.  When formed, companies traditionally look at the world from the “inside out”.  They need to develop the product or service that they will bring to market so they need to focus on how to design and operationalize the business.  But the really forward thinking companies, design with the customer in mind. But the big question is: how do we transform to a customer company?

For those companies that started from an “inside out” focus, a transformation is clearly in order to participate fully in today’s globally connected marketplace. Nowhere was this theme more evident than at the recent Customer Company Tour hosted by Salesforce.com at the ExCel Centre in London.  The focus was clearly on how to market, sell and service customers in a connected world. But attention was also given to how you transform the way your employees work by empowering and enabling them to serve your customers, a really key point.

The goal of being connected to your customers in today’s world is a given but is it enough?  We form opinions on how influential a connected customer is by the reach they have in the market. For instance, a lot of attention gets placed on the number of Facebook friends one has or the number of Twitter followers or the number of connections in LinkedIn.  Don’t get me wrong, these things are interesting data points but I go back to the age-old question: is it about quantity or quality? Which brings me to my next point: connection should ultimately lead to engagement. 

I believe that it isn’t enough just to be connected, you must engage and be engaging to be a true customer company. It’s about listening, adapting, engaging and improving the relationship. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been connected to a lot of companies. Being connected did not necessarily improve the relationship, it wasn’t until they engaged in a personalized, contextual and relevant way that it improved my experience with the brand.  For me this is what distinguishes a customer company.  What say you?

Written by Marchai Bruchey, Chief Customer Officer at Thunderhead.com

This article was originally published on www.thunderhead.com 

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