May 3rd 2012

Smart Customers (Stupid Companies). Michael Hinshaw & Bruce Kasanoff.

Customers are Ignoring You

Customers are Ignoring You (Photo credit: ronploof)

Smart Customers (Stupid Companies). Michael Hinshaw & Bruce Kasanoff. 2012. ISBN 9780985133900. I loved this book.  It contains enough examples and arguments to indicate exactly how your company needs to meet the smart plugged in customer.  This aligns with recent machine to machine research RocketBuilders carried out. well written and beautifully argued. The authors look at four disrupters:

  • Social Influence (WofM)
  • Pervasive memory ( Amazon and Zappos)
  • Digital Sensors (machine to machine everywhere)
  • The Physical Web

I loved these quotes:

1. We are confronting a fundamental shift in the ways that companies interact with – and serve – their customers.At many firms, their “social media strategy” involves creating a Facebook page, monitoring social sites for mentions of thecompany or its products, and generally extending its existingbusiness model into the social media world.But this approach stops short of confronting the real issues.If you could physically see the thousands of social influencers

crowding the space between your sales team and your customers – if they were physically present in your store or office – you would no longer accept the misguided notion that a few extra posts online would solve your problems.The reason so many companies are vulnerable is because the state of relationships between companies and customers is so poor. Products and services tend to be impersonal. Responsiveness tends to be uneven at best, or miserable at worst.  It is reasonable to assert that frustration, annoyance, and anger have been building among customers for decades. They are tired of being treated as numbers, of being misled or even lied to, and of being considered targets instead of living, breathing human beings.

2.  CRM doesn’t actually track relationships or experiences, it tracks transactions. As a result, CRM doesn’t take into account the customers’ views of the company, and doesn’t capture how these interactions make customers feel, much less what they want or need. Yes, CRM does a great job tracking company perceptions of value, and tracking those interactions that are important to the company – sales, marketing, service, etc. – but it fundamentally misses what customers think, feel, and want as a result. It delivers an inside-out perspective that means the conclusions reached by companies about customer relationships are skewed, based on the interactions that occurred rather than the customer perceptions that resulted. While CRM can tell the company that two customers have the same set of interactions, it can’t tell which customer is delighted, and which feels trapped, upset, and may be actively bad-mouthing the company online. This is important information.

This is a must read for leaders in the tech industry ( and every industry) . What you do not know will hurt you.

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