Thinking more on the customer lifecycle management as opposed to product lifecycle management I realize that in focusing exclusively on the revenue side of things I am missing a very important point about customer satisfaction.
Most enterprises realize that customer satisfaction is critical to the organization. Certainly we here at Microsoft measure our customer satisfaction (called NSAT in Microsoft speak) and it is very closely monitored throughout the organization, right up to the top. In fact rumor has it that VP's bonuses are tied to NSAT; I don’t know if that is true but my VP certainly acts like it is :).
Anyway the point about customer satisfaction is that anything which supports the customer improves customer satisfaction and the less formal the support the more valuable it appears to be. Customer lifecycle management has as one of its key elements customer support and feedback which of course will have a very positive impact on customer satisfaction
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Customer Lifecycle Management will be the impact it will have on customer satisfaction, even above revenue generation.
Seth Godin made an interesting comment about customer satisfaction back in February:
"...They don't measure how good your service is, or how optimal your product is. They measure how well you did compared to expectations. They're not the same"t
I think this is particularly relevant in Web 2 world, because expectations are intrinsically tied to reputation, a core Web 2 trend. A company who doesn't have the greatest product but connects with its customers will likely experience greater satisfcation and loyalty than a company with the perfect product who isolates itself from its customers and doesn't listen.
Tools like blogs, wikis and social networks have helped build bridges and improve reputation in the tech and teen worlds. Businesses need to look at how they can achieve the same results within their communities (customers and employees) if they want to meet and exceed expectations and build a satisfied (and loyal) customer base.
I have been blogging for a while about business value and how the whole Web 2.0 thing in the...
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