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Celebrating customer independence with five degrees of freedom

Nadhan on ‎07-03-2013 02:37 PM

July 4th 2013.  “Put Customers at the Center of Your Organization,” is what HP CEO Meg Whitman says when explaining five key steps, which have proved effective under her leadership. For me these steps highlight the fact that customers today enjoy degrees of freedom hitherto unforeseen. The New Style of IT is making customers more independent than ever before. Perhaps it’s time for them to celebrate this newfound independence — just as the United States fires up its barbecues and lights its fireworks.


Hello customers, Happy Fourth of July to you! Check out your five degrees of freedom!

HP CEO Meg Whitman and NASCAR CMO Stephen Phelps

1. Hit the road


Whitman explains that engaging with customers must be a priority. The New Style of IT provides customers easy access to ecosystems of engagement for proactively sharing their experiences. Customers are no longer dependent upon the availability of personnel to openly share their thoughts. They can take their BYOD and share their thoughts in an instant. Voila: The first degree of freedom.


2. Create open dialogue


Whitman advocates open dialogue with customers to make the best of the partnership. The New Style of IT positions enterprises to use the right tools to glean actionable insight from opinions expressed by the social customer. They no longer have to wait in a long queue to voice their frustration. Voila: The second degree of freedom.


3. Instill confidence


Whitman says that customers look for partners who will be there with them for the whole journey. CMO Steve Phelps explains the values NASCAR looks for in a partner for Journey Management. Customers look for partners who have experience implementing for themselves the solutions they propose. This gives customers direct visibility into the feasibility of this solution in a similar environment. Giving them — Voila: The third degree of freedom.


4. Give your strategy teeth


Actions speak louder than words. A strategic roadmap is necessary — but not sufficient — to build a better enterprise. Customers can reduce their own internal dependencies by requiring partners to demonstrate a track record of tangible solutions. Proven, functional solutions don’t always need a prototype. Hence, customers are less dependent on internal essays prior to deployment. Voila: The fourth degree of freedom.


5. Consistency and commitment


These are fundamental issues that can apply to all competitive enterprises. Even so, Whitman cautions that commitment and consistency from the entire organization is vital. Customer engagements are not point-in-time projects. Whiteman asserts that customers must be constantly engaged across the lifecycle at the center of your organization. Such customers are more likely to have all the right interactions at the right time, reducing the need for them to proactively reach out to their partners. Voila: The fifth degree of freedom.


The steps detailed by Whitman are vital to the successful execution of customer engagement. As Kevin Bacon mentioned at HP Discover, “Technology is about having zero degrees of separation.” Somewhere between Six degrees of Kevin Bacon and the Zero degrees of Separation, lie the “Five degrees of freedom” enjoyed by the customer of today.


Happy Fourth of July!


Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.




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