I recently attended Gartner’s Customer 360 conference.   It was great to spend three days with a group of customer-focused executives sharing experiences and learning from one another.    Here are my top 4 memorable quotes:

1. “Successful communication involves anticipated, personal, relevant messages.”  Seth Godin.

Personal and relevant are, of course, essential but not new concepts to me.   We have been thinking about how to help our customers with this since we started Apptegic.

However, Seth’s emphasis on anticipated struck me, especially since he had just given his purple cow analogy about standing out and being remarkable.  Remarkable seems at first to be the opposite of anticipated.    But it’s not.
At its least compelling, anticipated communication means not being spam.  There is tacit permission that is given to receiving communication from a company.  For the above average company, anticipated is expected.  The customer expects to receive a communication and does.  But, for the remarkable company, customers’ anticipate (actively desire and look forward) to the communication.

2. “Customer service can deliver compelling insights to marketing and be a powerful channel for marketing messages.“ Gareth Herschel and Michael Maoz, Gartner

During their talk on How Marketing and Customer Service will become BFFs, Gareth and Michael elaborated on this quote.  During a Customer Service interaction, the customer is engaged and thinking about your company.  It is a great time to communicate – ie learn from them and message to them.

In this context, Gareth and Michael mentioned that a campaign triggered by an actual customer action is 5x more successful and is 10x higher if the message is given during a conversation.   I have had several discussions with Larry Streeter that have influenced my thinking about the importance of linking customer insight based on customer behavior back directly into the customer service department.

3. “The experience that you provide customers will generate a voice inside their heads.  You can’t hear it, but it will be screaming at you.”  Jim Davies, Gartner
Jim went on to talk about the three kinds of voice of the customer:

  • Direct (you ask them for feedback)
  • Indirect (they tell you in Social, Chat, etc) and
  • Inferred (from behavior)

All are important.  At Apptegic, we are helping organizations learn from what their customers do – inferred from their behavior.

4. “Focus on the customers’ who will renew because of your efforts and let sleeping dogs lie.”  Gareth Herschel

Gareth discussed 4 types of customers.  Those who will:

  • Churn regardless of your efforts --- Don’t waste energy on them
  • Renew regardless of your efforts --- Don’t spend significant sales and marketing time here
  • Churn because of your efforts (these are sleeping dogs).   Your communications might remind them of your service and call them to cancel --- Don’t make the mistake of awakening them!
    Renew because of your efforts --- Focus here.

How do you tell the difference in advance?  By looking at each customer’s profile (their characteristics, business data, and behavior) and comparing that to the profile of other customers who responded to past efforts in the ways listed above.

For those of you who attended, what was one of the best quotes you remember from the conference?