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Becoming a customer company…wait, that’s not news!

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In his recent keynote, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff talked about “Becoming a customer company”.  His message resonates with Totango’s beliefs on customer centricity and our driving force for organizing the Customer Success Summit. For years now, we’ve all heard “The Customer Is Always Right” and it’s not anything new to acknowledge that the customer is important. If anything, it made me wonder if companies already know this, then what’s causing the discrepancy between what they say and what they do?

What Benioff calls the “Customer Revolution” is actually a revolution of 9 technology enablers that make it possible to become a customer company: social, touch, local, big data, identity, community, ecosystem, cloud, and trust.  And while all these make it easier to become more customer-centric, it’s also important to look at what are some obstacles that are keeping every company from achieving this faster.

  • It’s difficult. There are so many technologies out there claiming to solve different problems (which are all essential) but they address various stages of the customer lifecycle versus the entire customer lifecycle. We need an all-in-one.
  • Silos of information. Customer data is in silos: customer service, marketing, sales, account management. Everyone has a slice of the pie and try to base their decisions/strategies on the slice they have.
  • Hands are tied. Not enough customer-facing teams are empowered to the make right decisions in the context they are in, preventing them from providing superior service or a great experience.
  • Function vs Relationship. This is where the incentives are not aligned with the customer. The employee is focused on completing tasks or fixing issues instead of building a good rapport and instilling loyalty with their customers. (See: Hands are tied)

What’s missing in your approach to becoming a customer company and what are your obstacles?

Guy Nirpaz

Guy Nirpaz is a Silicon Valley-based Israeli entrepreneur and CEO of Totango, a Customer Success software platform. A pioneer in the Customer Success field, Guy established the Customer Success Summit and is a well-regarded industry speaker and community contributor. Guy loves people and technology and has dedicated his career to improving the way in which business is done through innovation. Fun Facts: Guy moonlights as the lead guitarist in a rock band based out of his garage in Palo Alto and used to command a tank well as having grown oranges.

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