• Marketspace Advisory
    Marketspace Advisory is a strategy consulting firm focused on improving its clients' customer-facing interface systems and associated channel migration challenges.


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January 27, 2006


Katarina Gizzi

"21st century companies are not fit for 21st century customers." I can’t agree with you more!

So many companies today understand the importance of customers experience and constantly look for better solutions on how to improve their interactions with customers. As the Best Face Forward book argues, in a rapidly changing market where products and services become commodities overnight, the only lasting competitive advantage will derive from how these products and service are sold.

What many of these companies don’t realize, however, is that in order to deliver a superior customer experience they have to look inside first and fix what’s broken. As mentioned in the Economist article, a surprising number of companies today still have much the same command-and-control structure that they had 50 years ago and "the imperialist corporate centre" is still the most common type of headquarters. Companies are still operating in silos, with very little communication between them. And as the result, the customer experience is broken and suffering. Financial service institutions, for example, are notorious for not knowing whether customers who signed up for one service were already customers for other services provided by the same institution. Or to give you another example – while working with a North American brokerage company to improve their prospects experience, we had to interact with different departments such as design, marketing, Web, product, etc…. It turned out to be very challenging, because these units were not used to working together, but in silos. We actually managed to "bring them in one room" and work as one team for the first time in the company’s history.

Companies need to realize that in order to deliver a superior customer experience they need to mobilize around the customer rather than operate in product and channel silos.

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