Being a customer centric company

Escrito el 22 Enero 2007 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en Innovación / Innovation

One of the big issues for all the companies that are into this big mess called digital convergence is how to understand better what the customer needs and how to hear him better, louder and faster than before. That is assuming they were hearing them at all, a statement with which I do not agree, at least not as a general rule.

The change is happening all over the place, a lot of seminars and training on how good you can be if you modify your organization and your systems towards keeping a good track of what the customer is doing and how it evolves over time. However, probably most of these initiatives are useless. Moreover, the reason lies at the heart of the companies and how they think about their customers, the focus groups they do, the questions and big surveys. In this case, we need to go further. Convergence, the process as such, is changing more than a few markets, but a whole system of social and cultural relationships. The way we interact with society at all levels. As managers of those companies, many can only see what the reports let them see. We read about Second Life or online gaming. How many have really tried it within the industry? How many read blogs, forums or anything that the users have to say about their companies?

The relationship with the companies providing the products and services for digital convergence are getting closer to the hearts of their customers, but their customers, the ones that should be shaping the type of products and offerings they take to the market, are not even close to the hearts of these big conglomerates. At least not close to the hearts and feelings of the ones deciding. Only by changing that approach, some companies have an opportunity to change the market and flourish. If not all that is left is just copying those that are brave enough to explore what is it that the customers want and do, with or without the traditional providers.


Guzmán 22 Enero 2007 - 21:15

Ricardo, I really liked your post. I agree with you with the heart of the message: there is too much distance between the decision boards (and executives) and their customers. And, ironically, the convergence industry is building bridges to make things easier… Perhaps the product centric vision is stronger than expected, and nothing will change until a new generation of managers arrives…

Patxi 23 Enero 2007 - 09:39

This is an interesting Financial Times article where it explains how economical experiments could be carried out using social games such as Second Life. (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/4f0e3f14-9bc7-11db-9c9b-0000779e2340.html)”Undercover Economist: Trials and error” Jan 5, 2007

The problem, if there is any, could be that that managers must understand how this trends affect their businesses in the mid-long term, why social networks are becoming so important, how is social recommendation going to change traditional marketing and why this business models can have lower unitary costs in the long run.

It must be very difficult to have an enormous pressure to give short term results and at the same time trying to think in changing businesses to these new trends, when they are not well understood, and when they imply a high risky bet that markets aren’t going to understand in case of failure.
In this cases, imitating seems to be the easiest and most conservative option … or really it is not?

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